I love Turkey Pepperoni! It's such a versatile food. I put it on my salads, wraps and even make random dishes with it. Because I'm not a brand groupie, I don't necessarily stick to any particular brand but how can you go wrong with Hormel. A trusted household name, I've bought their turkey pepperoni off and on for years. So, imagine my surprise when I realize that there is moldy meat in my bag!
Never the squeamish type, I often laughed at people who in my eyes had simple aversions to certain things happening around them as they eat. Simple things like someone else burping or picking their nose. Not saying that these things are polite things to do around another person as they eat, but to me something small. I use to say "As long as it's not on my plate or in my food, I don't care."
This time, the grossness was IN my food and my immediate response was:
Oh no, no, no...this won't do! I've been grubbing away at this bag of pepperoni and you mean to tell me there is MOLDY MEAT! Hormel will hear about this.
I went on their website, found the contact info for customer complaints. Here is my letter to Hormel:
I don't have the upc code but I have pictures of the package and date codes on the top left corner of the back of the package: Jan 19 2016 W on the line below EST. P223 03:16 On 09/22/15.
The package I purchased was located in the refrigerated section. I went home, opened the bag and after eating about 11-13 pieces I pulled out one that appeared to be discolored around the edges. When I shook the bag to see if there were more pieces like that one, THERE WERE! The majority of the middle pieces were covered in mold. I immediately said a prayer for my digestive tract and high tailed it over to the store to alert them. They were of course apologetic and the manager on duty insisted that he would have an associate pull the packages. I was issued a refund and offered some more pepperoni which as you can imagine was declined because, let's just say I no desire packaged meat at this point. I have been a loyal customer for years. Because I only eat poultry and fish, my choice for Turkey Pepperoni is limited, and up until yesterday, I have been satisfied with your product.
I don't know all the inner workings of a food production plant and I am not a food inspector for any private or government agency. I realize that there are allowances for errors and in a perfect world everything that we use or consume would be 100% perfect. That is not the case. What is concerning for me is that this pepperoni ( a cured meat) was packaged and sealed, yet in the middle of the package (not the edges that would have been more closely exposed to the sunlight and temperature changes) was lousy with MOLD. Green, Fuzzy, Louis Pasteur mold! I of course am not qualified to determine what type of mold it was, but I am not only allergic to common environmental molds, I am highly allergic to penicillin. So imagine my horror after I realized that I had eaten quite a few pieces. Finding big fuzzy, gross, green and black mold in a sealed package of cured meat is not just stomach churning it’s unacceptable. In hindsight I should have kept the package, but I was so grossed out by it, that I just wanted out of my sight.
PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! contact that location and any other distributor/retail establishments that may have had Turkey Pepperoni Packages sent to them to sell. My hope is that Hormel is able to locate any possible contaminated packages to remove them so no one else is affected by this. I also hope that I am not patient zero for the "next" recall of mass produced food. Although I have injected some of my witty humor into this comment, it does not negate the seriousness and importance of the events that transpired. I choose to find humor and hope in any situation no matter how perfect or mold covered it is. This is an opportunity for Hormel to review quality checks of their products or possible reduce the margin for error during the production and resale of their products. If you need picture or any other information please contact me.
Stay tuned for the Hormel response.
To Be Continued...