Bad Experience at WalMart...

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2003 - 2:25pm
CVRTBB's picture
Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

I had a bad experience at WalMart today... I'm still upset about it and not sure that I handled it correctly.

I bought about $50 worth of grocery's and after the girl had bagged them all and they were in the cart and while I was writing a check she pulls a SNICKERS BAR out that is 9/10's gone out and starts eating it!! I about freaked! I was literally shaking and just calmly said, you know I'm not trying to be mean or nasty or anything but what you are doing could have serious ramifications for a person with a peanut allergy. She kind of gave me a blank look and I told her that I had a peanut allergic son that could die from touching the food that she had just bagged with hands covered in peanut protein. Thinking back I SHOULD have asked for my money back and left the cart sitting there. The reason I didn't is because my vehicle is broken down and I had dh's work car and no other way to get back before tomorrow night to do the grocery shopping all over again (it was almost time for church). Which would have meant that my four kids would have been without breakfast, lunch or dinner tomorrow.

So, I went ahead and brought the grocery's home and warned my 2 pa children not to touch anything and told them it was covered in peanut residue. I called the WM manager and told him what happened and he offered to replace everything, but there again I didn't have the time to go back [img][/img] He did ask for the employee ID number but I did not give it to him. I don't feel like she did it to be malicious, just didn't know any better. I'd hate to see her lose her job, but then I'd also hate to see my son lose his life!

He did have a 2 big hive reaction on his face, and I'm pretty worried [img][/img] I guess I should have just left it all there.

Boy do I feel like a BAD Mommy right now!

Thanks for "listening"

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2003 - 2:59pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I don't know if this idea would work, but could you call the store and speak to the manager again and start by explaining that your son now has hives, due to possible cross contamination from the clerk handling all the grocercies in between the eating of her peanut chocolate bar. Who knows when another cross contamination hive outbreak or worse could arise from the groceries.
My idea includes perhaps if you give the manager a listing (from your receipt) and request that a stock person come by your residence with item by item replacements to remove the cross contaminated packages from your home.
Even if the manager says it's not possible, it still might really send the message home that what happened is not o.k..
Just an idea since having the car troubles makes it difficult for you to pack everything up and take it back yourself.

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2003 - 3:52pm
LilMansMom's picture
Joined: 03/14/2002 - 09:00

I like Syd's Mom's idea, but can't see the ol' Wally-Worlds around here being willing to do delivery. Perhaps if they won't, you could ask for them to at least have it ready and maybe Hubby could pick it up on his way home from work? And give them her ID. A little education won't hurt her. I wouldn't think if you are being nice about it that they would fire her for it. Unless it has happened before. And her being fired wouldn't be a bad thing in that case.
Hindsight's 20-20 and I am sure things look a lot clearer now. But you did what you had to do at the time and there is no reason to feel bad about that. I am suffering from the 'broke-down car blues' myself and not sure I could have done any differently within those time constraints.
I hope your son's reaction will remain mild and you have an 'event-free' night.
Little Man's Momma
a*k*a Kendra

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2003 - 10:22pm
CVRTBB's picture
Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

Syd's Mom and Kendra,
That was an excellent idea, the problem though is that everything I bought last night has already been opened or used! In a house with 6 people groceries don't last long! They ate the cereal at breakfast and I used a lot of it to make the kids' lunches and I also took a bag of it (cups, napkins, cookies, juice) to the church (where the kids go to school) last night as I do the after school care program for about 30-40 kids every day from 3pm-6pm. I provide the snack so that it keeps my children safe. There were way to many nutty buddies, etc... being brought for after school snacks and I figured if I provided the snack it would make those three hours a lot safer and much less stress on my part. For supper I've had beans soaking all night in the crock pot ready to start 15 bean soup so that supper will be ready when we walk in the door with 4 starving children [img][/img] (Hooray for Crock Pots!)
The manager that I talked to did say that they have a "no eating" policy in place that the girl had violated. He said that he would strongly reiterate it in their meeting on Tuesday so that it (hopefully) will not happen again. I may just call again this morning and speak with the "Head" Manager and again tell him how deadly this little snack can be for someone with life threatening allergies. Hopefully this will get my point across!
BTW, Timmy's eyes are slightly puffy this morning but the hives are gone. Hopefully this will be the end of the reaction.
Thanks for your help!

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2003 - 10:52pm
margaret's picture
Joined: 11/01/2000 - 09:00

Doesn't that just gross you out! I had a pharmacy technician eating a snickers while ringing in my order. The other night at the grocery, the whole crew (checkers and baggers) were sharing a box of wheat thins. Maybe it's just me, but I think it is disgusting even without PA. Why would you want to handle groceries, including uncooked meats and poultry (potentially dripping), all that dirty cash and then be eating without properly cleaning your hands - ewww!
I think next time it happens, I will be bold enough to say something or to write a letter to the management.
And...What makes people think it is appropriate to wait on others with food in their mouths?
[This message has been edited by margaret (edited January 06, 2003).]

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2003 - 11:34pm
JacquelineL-B's picture
Joined: 02/14/2002 - 09:00

What a frustrating experience! I hope your son is feeling better soon. I probably would have asked for another clerk to ring everything through once the candy bar came out. I'm wondering now just how many stockers are washing their hands after meal breaks. How long does food protein stay on a surface?
Having worked retail I do feel empathy for the clerk though. She probably hadn't had a break and had been on her feet for hours. (Walmart isn't unionized, so who knows what kind of breaks the workers get.) Good for you for taking this to a management level and not taking it out on her. Hopefully the whole store can have some allergy awareness and hygiene precautions.

Posted on: Sun, 01/05/2003 - 11:41pm
AJSMAMA's picture
Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

I am sorry that your son had a reaction from the contaminated packaging. I do agree with the previous poster though. As a teen I worked in a restaurant where we sometimes did not get breaks. I shudder now to think of all the times I ate Reeses cups while in between doing a zillion things! I certainly would never do something like that now, however like someone else said hindsight really is 20/20. Peanut allergies did not cross my mind a hundred times a day like it does now. I am sure the checker was just overworked and starving. So many people fail to realize the ramifications of cross-contamination.

Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2003 - 3:34am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I have never seen a pharmacy employee eating or drinking while they work. I would suspect that there is a state health regulation about this.
When I go to Wal-Mart, I have seen several of the cashiers lick their fingers to help open the plastic bags. How unsanitary plus the allergy possibilities! Who knows maybe there is a state health regulation on this as well as eating while checking out food.
How disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2003 - 3:52am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

How do I say this tactfully?
Here goes: People eat everywhere. At home, in cars, on public transportation, in the mall, at work. I work in a hospital, my hubby works at a firestation. We rarely get a chance to eat. I worked in food service for 12 years and ate bites here and there off a small plate I tucked behind the coffee machine. We all had our secret place. LOL. Just for example: Christmastime for my hubby and I is a jackpot. At both our places of work we are innudated with food. Technically, I believe hospital workers are only allowed to eat in mandated eating areas. How well do you think that works, considering you are lucky to get a break in an 18 hour shift? I personally don't approve of eating in the unit and refrain from it because of the potential of contracting some pretty horrific infections. I stay pretty healthy despite working with some of the sickest folk on the planet. PS. I don't even wear my work clothes inside my home and shower as soon as I hit the door. My kids know kissing or hugging mommy is off limits until she's been "de-conned". Eating food in public areas is the reality we live in. I don't think we will be able to change where, when, and how people snack unless of course, they are snacking on a controlled substance like crack or pot. And of course, there are public limitations to where one can imbibe alcohol as well. But, in order to survive in this world and develop a healthy perspective on managing PA and other food allergies, we need to be realistic. Sometimes I think we tend to focus our attention on these types of issues too much as an attempt to make people understand the worry and burden we deal with ourselves. Sort of trying to find others to validate our feeling and fears. And there is nothing wrong with that. We just need do realize that sometimes, in an attempt to find this, we can allienate those who can help and offer much needed empathy.
With respect, MommaBear

Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2003 - 4:41am
ACBaay's picture
Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

It is quite upsetting to see somebody eating a Snickers and then touching your food. I'm sure one can only imagine, and wouldn't want to imagine, what people transfer onto the product while stocking and/or checking them out at the register. I had read elsewhere, not even to do with allergens, that after groceries were bought and taken home, they should then be wiped or cleaned off, before being put away. I believe they were found to have bacteria, germs, and other things that we don't want in our homes on their surfaces from storerooms and other contact.
Just an idea.

Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2003 - 4:54am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Like rat feces and cockroach eggs.
Just FYI. that's all. Shall I go on? [img][/img]
Good Point ACBaay! I usually DO wipe off things before putting them away. Seems like a waste of my life, but I have issues with germs since taking on my current carreer. Unavoidable casualty.


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