BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU BUY IN THAT SUPERMARKET...
The newsmagazine Dateline NBC aired a segment on it's Sunday evening programme dealing with supermarket safety, in which it reportedly collected more than 4,000 health inspections from 2004 (the most recent year available) after conducting a random nationwide survey of 1,000 grocery stores owned by ten major national chains. A couple of Florida-based supermarket companies didn't fare too well when all was said and done.
According to the report, the Lakeland-based Publix averaged 22 "critical violations" --- defined as "violations that could make consumers ill" --- for every ten inspections, the third largest number among the chains. Winn-Dixie, based in Jacksonville, averaged 14 "critical violations" for every ten inspections...fifth highest among the ten chains reviewed.
"Dateline" visited two Publix supermarkets in Florida, finding flies crawling over the fruits and vegatables. But the vast majority of "critical violations" dealt with how it stored toxic chemicals.
The findings on Publix was a bit surprising to yours truly. Although I don't usually shop at Publix --- it's prices are usually too high for my po' budget --- I've always found it's stores well kept, clean, and in generally an excellent presentable state. Winn Dixie is about average; I've always liked their prices and selection, although their stores are usually older and generally in slightly less well kept shape than Publix. I do wish there were one nearby, though.
One good thing is that Dateline gave the chains an opportunity to respond to the report. You can see their responses clicking here.