Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Two big misses at Costco Wholesale

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It's not often that we're disappointed with the food we buy at Costco Wholesale, but occasionally we bring home a clunker or two.

I bought a 17.6-ounce package of Galil-brand 100% organic Roasted Chestnuts, opened them and then refrigerated them, as the package instructs. But when I opened the package this week, they were slimy and at least one had mold on it.

I don't have the receipt, but the expiration date on the package is 12/08/2012.

The chestnuts were from China, as were those in smaller packages I have purchased in years past from H Mart, the Korean supermarket chain.

Fresh oxtails

On Tuesday, my wife asked me to pick up oxtails at Costco in Hackensack and I brought home a 4 pound-plus package that cost $18.68 ($4.49 a pound).

My mother-in-law trimmed the oxtails and split the bones, but there was so much fat and bone, what began as 4.16 pounds served only three people. I ate fish.

The fresh oxtails were from a company called Rumba ("Foods of the Soul").  

I looked at the company Web site and found out Rumba is part of Cargill, one of the nation's biggest meat processors.

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  1. Victor, that's the expiration date for an unopened package. If you opened them, even if you refrigerated them, they're going to grow mold after a while. Did you make a note of how many days they were in your refrigerator? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. Aaron:

    I would say a month, but read the comment below.

  3. Here is a comment on those chestnuts from a friend in San Francisco:

    "i got them at costco for my mom...........
    same story as on your blog.......
    they were terrible and she threw them out..

    1. Lucky you! You can return the salmon and the chestnuts to Costco on the same trip, and save a bundle on gas. I would think twice, however, before returning the oxtails to Cargill, as they not only produce genetically modified oxen but they have been known to genetically modify bloggers who complain.

  4. I no longer have the Costco receipts, but I e-mailed Cargill and they've offered a full refund.

    Now, I'll try to track down Galil, the Israeli-sounding company that imported the chestnuts from China.

    Talk about an "old chestnut."

  5. I bought chestnuts last week from Costco, dated nov 2012. That is probably when they are harvested and processed.
    I opened the package, the nuts are medium to dark brown, not like chestnuts I have baked, which are light tan. The smell was somewhat neutral but they were sticky and slightly slimy.I did not eat any and will return them.I also try not to buy any food from China, but was not paying attention, since they were Organic.

  6. Yes. The chestnuts show China still has a long way to go on food safety, but we are starting to see a lot of food from that huge country, including farmed tilapia, and we have no way of knowing if it is good.

    1. Farmed tilapia is a wrong ch pi ce anyway. Never buy farmed anything but oysters, cams etc of that family. If you eat them.

  7. I bought some Costco Chestnuts this week. I opened them in the parking lot before leaving. They smelled strongly like dogfood! I tried a couple anyway. They tasted slightly like tuna! I assume this was from overcooking. They looked variable in color, but definitely on the dark side. Also a little slimy. I returned them immediately. So gross!!! Terrible quality.

  8. I agree. Why does Costco keep selling them?

  9. I am not a fan of food products from china and did not notice they were from there till I got them home. Costco is 30 minutes away from where I live. So I tried them anyway and really enjoyed the bag. Try toasting them if you still have any.

    They were great. No issues. The bag said use before 11/8/2014. I loved them. What are all of you talking about. I put some in the toaster oven and they were fine. I grew up in NY and they tasted like home.

    1. I'm particularly enjoying my Galil chestnuts from Costco. I googled because I'm curious about how they process them. Grateful I don't have to roast / boil and peel them any more.

    2. OK, thanks, Esther. My wife has been making most of the trips to Costco, but I'm going this week, and will look to see if they are still available in the Teterboro, N.J., warehouse.


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