I was in the NSA Supermarket on Washington Avenue between Park and Prospect Place after 8 pm last night when I and some other people noticed that all the meat in the meat section of the store was completely empty. The whole back wall of meat was empty, except the top shelf with processed salamis. It was strange that the next section with the packaged fresh fish along that same wall with the same display cases seemed untouched. I later asked one of the workers what was going on and she said that the refrigeration system broke down and they had to remove all the meat. When I was at the front of the store, I saw and heard one customer talking to the manager, asking him how come all the packages of ice cream she touched in the freezer were soft and melted. He was holding one such ice cream container in his hand, which I assume she gave him to touch for himself. He said that there was a problem with the refrigeration system and they had to shut it down. So, she asked him to discount the ice cream. He said no. She then said that since the ice cream was defrosted, it would all have to be eaten that night and she would not be able to put any of it back in the freezer, because re-freezing something is supposed to be dangerous. It could cause Salmonella. His response was that the best he could do is give her a 10% discount. She said that was not enough of a discount to have to eat all that ice cream that one night. The man standing next to the manager at the front of the store then told the manager to give her a better discount, because all that ice cream is going to have to be thrown out anyway. The manager repeated that all he could do is give the lady a 10% discount. The lady asked him again for a better discount. When he didn't respond, she walked away without buying any ice cream for a mere 10% discount. I don't blame her. It occurred to me today that whole long wall with freezers filled with frozen food must have also defrosted, but because all of them are enclosed and packaged, he hoped that people wouldn't notice a change in color or taste. So, he wasn't going to throw them out too. People are used to looking at meat closely through cellophane to check if it's fresh. But I guess he is betting that the frozen packaged goods must have some kind of preservatives and no change would be detected. But the customers might re-frost things and if you do it more than once, it is a dangerous proposition. I think that this is lousy and dangerous store behavior. It's Saturday. The health inspectors are not working today. He knows that, even if someone reports him, no one on Monday morning will know what happened on Friday and Saturday. How do we spread the word about this? I don't know what this lady is doing about this, if anything, but I know that she is a long time resident, because I have seen her in the neighborhood for many years.
For years and years, this supermarket was filthy and smelly from the first step inside the store. Everyone in the neighborhood described it as smelly. Complaining to them about the smell didn't make a difference. I was one of the people who complained to the manager about the smelliness for almost 2 years. Several weeks after my last complaint, he came over to me and wanted to know if I was the one called the health department on him. I did not call, but I wish i had. I guess finally some other people did. Once the whole store was completely renovated, upgraded, and the deli section moved, it has at least stopped being smelly. But there is no reason for this. He could discount that whole frozen section and sell it at a discount, if he doesn't want to take the loss of all that food. But he won't take any loss whatsoever. That is lousy, because it is dangerous.
No matter what the store manager claims, unless you see all the frozen food in the store freezers missing, then you will know the food has not been thrown out. Please spread the word about this and watch the temperature in the freezers.
Since I am already writing, I would add that at least 90% of the time, the young cashiers at the NSA registers don't ring up the sale item prices at the sale price, but rather at the regular price. Many store regulars know that one has to watch every single item as the cashiers ring them up. Invariably, there is a mistake and they have to call the manager to key the register for a correction to be made. He knows that this practice is rampant at the store, but he does nothing about it. The cashiers do this, if there are no customers behind you or there are 6 customers behind you. Don't be afraid to ask the cashiers to ring up the items slowly, so that you can watch the process, no matter how many people are standing behind you. Letting them know that you are watching them closely does not seem enough to prevent these constant 'mistakes'.