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Pimp my meat, COOP’s unique approach

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So some of my trusted readers had noticed I’d posted an article on the same topic. I got home after an emotional very touching event and was angried when I saw what the Swiss supermarkt chain Coop did to its trusting customers. I’ve decided to rewrite this article in a more sensible fashion. Coop has been caught in betraying the trust of thousands of customers across Switzerland. The Article published in the Tagesanzeiger explains how meat which was beyond its due date, was sold by either chopping it up or selling it in the fresh meat part of the butcher section. So I’d walk into the place buy something to cook and I got old and potentially health-threatening meat without knowing. Is that what you would expect from a swiss premium supermarket ? Was that what Gottfried Duttweiler (founder of Migros) had in mind when he introduced the supermarket concept to Switzerland ? Quite frankly I’m okay if you sell meat which is past it’s prime official expiry date, since food and health regulations tend to be completely estranged from reality, but you must declare it, because then it becomes my conscious decisions. If you’re buying fresh meat at the butcher’s counter, without any further warning your expectation is, it’s fresh and within all specifications. If you recall the BSE (mad cow) disease rampage in England, as soon as the beef price dropped, people scooped it up regardless of the spongy brain risk, but again – at least it was a conscious decision. Besides being angered at Coop for their poor business antics, I am disappointed that this happens in Switzerland, where were used to paying a bit more but getting top quality in return. Personally I think that with the market entry of discounters such as Aldi or Lidl, this has increased the willingness to cut corners in quality, since suddenly the price is the only relevant feature of a product. My personal takeaways from the whole Coop meat cock-up ? Firstly, build and maintain a lasting and meaningful relationshop with your local butcher, Alfred Biolek never failed to stress that in this tv shows (“Fleischer Ihres Vertrauens”). Secondly make sure your local political representative is pushing for releasing the food inspector’s reports to the public, since this is the only way that markets (and restaurants) are pressured to keeping up their standards. And lastly, eat more meat since high turnover at the meat section will prevent businesses from worrying about their slow-selling inventory. Expanding on that thought, one could come to the conclusion that it’s the vegetarians which are to blame for all meat scandals, since they lower the overall turnover and increase shelf life. And I’m married to one…

Posted by therealpickygourmet on 10 November 2011
5 Comments Post a comment
  1. 11/11/2011
    Ronnie B.

    Nice article Picky. I am also disappointed by what has occurred. But I am not shocked.

    It just goes to show that governemental health & safety regulations in Switzerland are pathetic. If they were in place, how can they explain that this occurred at one of the biggest supermarket chains in Switzerland? If no one is controlling and monitoring their practices, imagine what the smaller butchers and food sellers are up to.

    I might as well add, as a hotelier who is certified in health & safety, I am amazed at the despicable state of restaurant kitchens and their staff. You will often see a pigs bin by the kitchen pass (rather than by the dish washer) and often see dishevelled untidy and unsanitary cooks with soiled clothing without hair nets cooking. Where are the regulations? While I’m not anal about such things and do believe regualtions can be too strict, food safety is not up to par in Switzerland.

    Have a great weekend.

    Ronnie B.

    • 11/12/2011

      Hair nets in a kitchen, that’s a bit too “Cafeteria” for my taste and reminds me of an army canteen.
      I get itchy when so called health and food regulations go overboard, I once read an article that kitchen’s are no longer allowed to cook Gschwellti (Potatoes) a day in advance to make Rösti. Which I find offputting. But overall there’s only one solution, do it like Denmark and make the food inspector’s report public available. This will weed out the black sheep the quickest.

  2. 11/12/2011

    I’ve been reading your blog for several months now but haven’t been moved to write until now. Your post made me check out the Kassensturz episode from 8.11.20211 and now my husband and I are both outraged. We’re considering taking our general shopping elsewhere (north of the border, ahem) although we don’t even buy a lot of meat. I’m an aspiring vegetarian (I will not remark on your last, flawed, recommendation) and have started to eat only Kag Freiland chicken if at all, and now I think I’ll be able to convince the guy that we should get his occasional veal from them as well.

    By the way, since your significant-other is vegetarian, perhaps you could also comment on the vegetarian-friendly options at the restaurants you review. I’ve been happy with Stucki in Basel, but would like to try other places of that sort.

    • 11/13/2011

      I’m not sure I’m you’re man. I think vegetarian is somewhat weird, since you’re actively and consciously robbing yourself of the whole world of meat and fish. From juicy chicken to succulent pork, from luscious oysters to dry aged beef, there’s a fantastic world of flavors, textures and smell which your leaving out. I can’t understand that masochist behaviour. I do eat vegetarian every now and then, but not because of wanting to go meatless, but simply because sometimes a vegetarian dish is the tastiest option on a menu and I’ll comment on those just like I do on everything else. If you’re looking for specific vegetarian reviews of a restaurant, that’s not something I’m going to get into.

  3. 11/13/2011

    Yes, the vegans and vegetarians are terribly selfish individuals to whom their own health and persuasion are more important than the well-being of their fellow man. Despicable people! 😉


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