I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hey, Big Grocery Chain or Big Restaurant Chain or Whoever this applies to - Listen Up!

Ok, big food chain outlet, I know you have boat loads of  buying power and are raking in huge profits. Don't try to tell me about your little profit margins and how hard it is to make a buck. Keep it to yourself. I also do not want to hear about the bad economy and how it affects the amount and quality of items on you have on your shelf or serve to your consumer.  And when I come in to inspect or even just for dinner do not tell me you do NOT know how your facility got into rough shape.

You have no idea? Let me clue you in...the list is pretty straightforward.
1) You do not pay part time employees over minimum wage thus the quality of  help suffers in many instances.
How hard do you think someone is going to work for slightly over $7.00 an hour? Answer: Not very hard!
2) Part time employees do not last very long thus the turnover is high and most of your employees are part time as you do not have to pay them benefits. See #1.
3) Training is minimal. M-I-N-I-M-A-L. That is a whole other blog post. (Most facilities have training programs and some are extensive. It is all in the implementation.)
4) Managers are focused on bonus numbers , i.e. results. Examples: of items a bonus can be based on include Lower waste (shrink), lower labor cost and  increased departmental or facility sales and /or iincreased profits overall. Year over year, month over month, etc. Sometimes making #3 null and void due to #5 .
5) Food safety is not cost effective (until someone gets really sick). It takes extra time, increases waste and can result in lower sales thus it is is not bonused in many facilities. See item #4.
6) Building maintenance costs money. See profits on item #4.

There it is in a nutshell!!!
Consumers are at the hands of whomever is providing their food. What can you do?

You can take matters into your own hands and research the food safety ratings for restaurants and grocery stores in your state. My state has most major grocers ratings online as well as all permitted restaurants. You can look up the ratings and then determine if you wish to shop or dine at that location. Be warned a negative score can be the result of a hot water tank going out or a simple one time event. If there is a history of inspections that are below par then there is definite cause for concern. That shows a lack of awareness for safety on the part of the facility management. Then vote with your wallet and go elsewhere.

You can look for alternative food suppliers in your community. Farmers, CSA's and Green Markets to name a few. Talk to the suppliers and if possible visit the farm. Be aware these have their own cautions and that is also another post (in the near future).    

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