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The meat section at No Frills is untrustworthy

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by Snuffy, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member

    I bought a package of t-bone steaks at No Frills. I cooked one the very same day and it tasted odd. Half of it went in the green bin. The other steak has one section noticeably darker than the other side.

    Metro's meats do seem fresher, but the fact that they use the same packaging as No Frills put them in the "suspicious" category.

    This may just motivate me enough to take the street car every week to St. Lawrence. I miss going to a real butcher.
  2. lucky1

    lucky1 TRIBE Member

    no frills is cheaper because they buy grade b stuff, metro buys grade a stuff. Meat, veg, dairy. The only thing the same is the packaged stuff that is cheaper at no frills. I notice the difference when I buy milk. I buy lactose free milk which normally has a 6 week shelf life. Accept at no frills. They buy the stuff that is already close to the expire date, so it only has a week or so shelf life.
  3. ian

    ian TRIBE Member

    Yes based on this one incident, we should grab our pitchforks and torches! :rolleyes:

    My no-frills (Landsdowne & Dundas) actually has a better meat section than many butchers. Not saying it's the best, but it's pretty decent.
  4. defazman

    defazman TRIBE Member

    D E F A M A T I O N

  5. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    the very detailed description of snuffy's bad experience is definitely enough information for the entire city to make an informed decision.
  6. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    i support small local butchers whenever I can. I find the service an important part of buying food. Its nice going to a place where they can tell you exactly where the meat came from.
  7. sk8

    sk8 TRIBE Member

    The one my mother-in-law used to go to in Aurora was awesome. The one near me makes me want to stab people it's so badly organized and understocked - they are independently managed so I don't think you can make a blanket statement regarding all of them.

    My dad had a questionable meat incident at a large chain grocery store (ground beef had obviously browned been mushed around and repackaged) - he went and questioned them about it and they gave him free new meat and apologized. It can happen anywhere.
  8. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    d e f a m e a t i o n !
  9. ian

    ian TRIBE Member

    For sure. Buying local meat from local butchers is the best way to go for many, many reasons. However, it can be $$$. When I'm feeling broke, my No Frills does an okay job at least in terms of taste and quality (if not for the environment).
  10. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    FYI No Frills is a Loblaw-owned company.
    Metro is owned by Metro (who bought A&P/Dominion/Food Basics)

    The only difference between No Frills offering and Loblaws is that they're a bit closer to code date (expiry) and the meat is Grade A or AA, never AAA. Loblaws sells AA or better.

    The same goes for Price Chopper/FreshCo and Sobeys and Food Basics and Metro.

    If you get a bad piece of meat all of those chains will replace the item no question if you take the unused portion back.
  11. dtox

    dtox TRIBE Member

    Metro gets meat processed in china. the butcher at the one in Guelph said he WILL NOT buy fresh meat from his own store.
  12. ndrwrld

    ndrwrld TRIBE Member

    you're buying meat at NO FRILLS.
  13. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member

    It's not just this one experience at No Frills, though. The cuts are done quite poorly on most of their meat products. There's stuff dangling here and there, and mysterious marks and colours everywhere. And I don't understand the multi-colored black and blue "$1 OFF" sticker section.

    Shouldn't they put it on sale BEFORE it goes bad?

    Take their bag' o chicken drums for example, with yellow stuff encrusted on the loose, flappy skin. I've had pieces with half the skin torn off, and other pieces that have the skin flapping around from another piece.

    I've tolerated this because the store is conveniently close. But wow, the experience I had the last time I went to St. Lawrence was so much better. The sausages at St. Lawrence didn't taste like they were encased in plastic! I had forgotten what quality meat really tasted like.

    Metro is marginally better, but the sausages still taste like plastic.
  14. catilyst

    catilyst TRIBE Member

    Depending on the grades you're after. I've been going to a few muslim butchers in Brampton - mainly because of their selection, but their prices are far better than the grocery stores, and their beef and poultry is from Ontario.

    If I want something not on display, it's not uncommen for them to walk in to the fridge, and cut up a side right there. You don't get that at the grocery chains.

    Ground beef? They take solid chuck and grind it in front of you. No mysterious cutting room floor scraps.

    What you won't find at these places (at least I haven't) is aged steak or higher grades of beef. Or pork for that matter!
  15. Rage

    Rage TRIBE Member

    No Fills is great for pre packaged stuff...you can get tons of Presidents Choice stuff, Blue Menu stuff for really cheap.

    For all my produce and meats, I will go to Longos or Loblaws and pay a bit more.
  16. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    it hasn't actually 'gone bad'.

    it's just that the oxygen they pump into the meat in order to make it look more appealing has dissipated from the flesh, and it doesn't look as new as it used to.
  17. pig-pen

    pig-pen TRIBE Member

    Snuffy - Which No Frills do you use? I believe they are operated as franchises and because of this, they differ in quality from store to store. They also tailor their stock to meet the local demographic. The meat department would definitely reflect this.
  18. PAUZE

    PAUZE TRIBE Promoter

    Buy all my meat at local butchers and try to get most of my veggiest from farmer's market's accross Toronto.

    Anything else I can't find I go to any of the above mentioned stores.
  19. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member

    True, but many chains share the same distributor or production methods. For example, many stores get ground beef from the distributor in a large tube. The so-called meat counter merely divides the tube into sections to place in those ubiquitous styrofoam packages.

    The packaging is exactly the same at Metro and No Frills. Prices are about the same, too (except for the pre frozen stuff which seems to be ok...).
  20. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    These days ground beef is processed off-site in clean facilities to protect against contamination. Ditto with chicken. The three large chains use different distributors. The cows might be from the same herd but they're processed by different companies. It's a very competitive marketplace and the chains like to have clear audit trails.

    The packaging is similar because there's an accepted form factor in the marketplace for ground beef. It doesn't mean the beef is from the same supplier.
  21. Snuffy

    Snuffy TRIBE Member

    Parkdale, Palo's No Frills. The produce section is abysmal, too. The only thing I love about the store is the discount tuna and cheap dry goods.

    When I cooked the steak with a noticeably darker area, it smelt sweet. It's an odd smell that I associate with meats that are just about to go bad. Am I wrong with this or is it just paranoia? I've only experienced that scent with questionable meats, and I usually throw it out when I detect the scent.
  22. [- FuNKtiOn -]

    [- FuNKtiOn -] TRIBE Member

    No Frills has been treating me well since moving to Toronto.
    all the No Frills in London were the most ghetto of all the grocery stores.

    but between the No Frills at Dundas/Lansdowne or Dufferin Mall, no complaints.
    although I buy all my chicken at the butcher, I just get my various pork products and ground turkey and PC products from the grocery store.

    any grocery store that sells chicken in bags for cheap, is never good quality.
  23. AlyG

    AlyG TRIBE Member

    The one at Eg and Vic Park has an amazing meat section. I like the sausage. heh.
  24. keline

    keline TRIBE Member

    wow whoever would have thought that there's a difference in quality between the Parkdale No Frills and the St. Lawrence Market... I for one am shocked
  25. Klubmasta Will

    Klubmasta Will TRIBE Member

    if you can't go to the butcher, it's worth the drive to costco. their meat and fish selection is aces and their healthy choice fudgesicle bars are the greatest invention since they started pumping oxygen into packaged meat to make it look more appealing.

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