Due to some hostile comments from overly keen Aldi supporters, we have pulled the video.
Next time, please don’t shoot the messenger.
We didn’t fake anything. We had purchased it 15 minutes earlier and literally pulled it out of the bag for the video.
Yes these problems occur in the other major supermarkets at times, but hopefully they respond faster. You can read here why we made the video.
Why make this video?
Over a month ago we had 5 containers of curry from Aldi, all with spotty or blue rice (see the image towards the end of the video). We returned it to the store only to discover their new stock had the same problem.
We then noticed that they had dodgy seals. They were leaking. Air was getting in. Bacteria was getting in.
Then we discovered that this problem was actually occurring at every Aldi we went to (5 at that time). We also noticed that the frozen lasagne had dodgy packaging.
It took a week for Aldi to remove some of the Asian dishes from the shelves. It wasn’t until last Friday that they pulled 2 of the 3 lines of frozen lasagne.
Last week we went to all the local Aldi stores (Kellyville, Baulkham Hills, Winston Hills, Castle Hill and Rouse Hill) and we were typically finding 4 or more packs that were damaged. They were having a failure rate of about 20% – in every store.
Meanwhile I was being given the “we are looking into it” run around by their complaints department. Someone had been assigned my case and no-one else could speak to me.
On Friday we thought this saga was finally over when I could not buy two lines of lasagne from any Aldi store, and the couple family size packs I could find looked good.
Fresh batch, complete box, and I found another damaged pack.
So now we are going public. If we can’t inform Aldi and have them respond, hopefully a bit of naming and shaming will do the trick.
What are the risks?
Any potentially hazardous foods that are sealed have a use-by date that assumes they remain sealed and stored at the correct temperature (below 5°C).
As soon as that seal is broken, the product is exposed to bacteria.
When you place it in a reusable shopping bag, and then into the boot of your car you are exposing it to a huge amount of bacteria and contaminates.
If you leave it out to defrost, you are allowing more bacteria to enter.
If you were to cook it thoroughly then there’s a good chance that you will kill most of the bacteria. If, however, you give it a quick nuke (as some of my family members do) and parts of it are not steaming hot then you haven’t killed off the bacteria.
If you are a fit adult, food poisoning will possibly take you out of action for a day or two. But for some it will have life long side effects.
If you are very young, elderly, or already sick then food poisoning is even worse, and it is this group that are most at risk.
What can you do?
1. Check before you buy
If you find an item that is damaged, notify the store staff. Tell them that you have read an article online about Aldi products being compromised, and ask them what they are doing about it.
2. Check before you consume
It doesn’t matter where you buy an item from, if the packaging is damaged then don’t use it.
You may have accidentally damaged it on the way home, or it may be one of these dodgy items. It doesn’t matter why, if it is a high risk food that is not properly sealed, toss it.
Actually, if it is an Aldi lasagne then return it and ask for a refund.
3. Share this warning
Do you know someone who shops at Aldi? Send this warning.
And hopefully this can all be fixed by the end of the week, and everyone can enjoy a safe and festive Christmas season.