Fish Smells Off From Woolworths, Can I Do Anything About It ?

Okay so I recently purchased some snapper from Woolworths as I wanted to make some fish cakes. I asked if it was fresh when I was getting it too as it was on special ($20/kg)and they said it was.

Great, I bring it home open it up and a strong fishy smell fills the kitchen. Now I can't just return it because I was stupid enough to say "no" when they asked if Id like a receipt. Since its just smell and it's not actually slimy I try the whole soak it in milk, wash it with salt and starch thing to get rid of the strong smell. I turn them into fishcakes and for a while think this actually worked since all I can smell at this stage is the herbs I added into it. I cook it and nope it has not worked I taste the weird fishiness. Just wasted a kg of fish and bunch of other ingredients on this + my time. I'm a little pissed so I'm wondering if I can complain about this to anyone ?

I've talked with a few friends and to my surprise they've had similar experiences of getting off products from Woolworths. This can't be legal can it ? Can they really sell fish/produce that's about to go off ?

Related Stores

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Comments

    • +6 votes

      I used to work at Coles front end as supervisor. Lots of people come back with items that smell off without a receipt - if you're nice and just say that you bought it yesterday (we don't really when you bought it to be honest, but at least it gives us a way to defend ourselves if the front end manager questions it) then you'll generally get a refund or replacement without any fuss. Unless the supervisor is a jerk or having a bad day of course. Just try at a different time or even a different store.

      It's generally much better for a store to lose $20 of stock than have an angry customer who won't come back

      • +1 vote

        Agreed with what you've said (from my experience) but I would have to say an angry customer who won't come back, at worst is simply not going back to that particular Coles. It's honestly not easy to "not go" to Woolworths/Coles especially given the convenience based on how widespread they are. I'm not sure others would agree with me but just saying that it's not really a case where we really have much choice with where we want to go for mainstream and convenient grocery shopping.

        •  

          but I would have to say an angry customer who won't come back, at worst is simply not going back to that particular Coles. It's honestly not easy to "not go" to Woolworths/Coles especially given the convenience

          It's even more inconvenient if that's your nearest Woolies (instead of the one 5 minutes further from that). We just want them to get their shtt together!

          Take it to the same store, escalate, (maybe take to different store) and escalate again to HQ to stop smelling off-products..

  • +8 votes

    If you go to the desk and complain they'll give you a refund without a receipt (easiest if you have the paper wrap with the price, or a bank statement on your phone showing the transaction).

    They have lots of standards with meats but like all processes sometimes there's human error and dodgy goods make it out the door. Next time take it back and they'll rectify it.

    I got lamb that stunk once, threw it out and went straight back to let them know. No receipt. Still got a refund.

    •  

      I think I still have the paper wrap with the price tag in the bin. Thanks I might take it and see what they say

      • +2 votes

        It's good to take it back if you have the wrap because they'll investigate and check if anything is wrong with the batch (faulty freezer, left out too long etc).

        They'll definitely give you a refund and an apology from the paper wrap though.

  • +1 vote

    If your fish from Woolworths is looking rather worthless, take it back to the store to get your money's worth.

  • +6 votes

    A fish that smells like… Fish? How fishy!

  • +2 votes

    take it back tomorrow

    explain everything

    you'll get it fixed

  • +8 votes

    Just raise a stink and you'll get refunded, oh wait, you already have a stink.

  • -3 votes

    mwah ha ha ha

    or not

  • +5 votes

    Just wasted a kg of fish and bunch of other ingredients on this + my time. I'm a little pissed so I'm wondering if I can complain about this to anyone

    Should have complained before you done that, especially when you already thought it smelled off.

    and before you did this

    Since its just smell and it's not actually slimy I try the whole soak it in milk, wash it with salt and starch thing to get rid of the strong smell.

  •  

    Fish Smells Off From Woolworths, Can I Do Anything About It ?

    More and live further away? lol

  • +5 votes

    That's why I don't buy any fresh produce from woolies or Coles, stick to your fishmonger and local butcher. You might pay an extra dollar a kilo but the stuff you buy is so much better.

    • +3 votes

      I agree fish/meat from a fishmonger/butcher will be better quality (thicker, better cuts), but the food handling safety standards at Coles/Woolies are second to none.

      Getting "off" meat at Coles/Woolies is an extremely rare occurrence and would likely happen less often per quantity sold than a smaller butcher or fishmonger.

      Plus for me it's convenience. I shop after work at 6-7pm. Butchers and fishmonger are closed, supermarkets are still wide open.

      •  

        I totally get the convenience factor, I now try and write shopping lists for the week and do my shop at the weekend. I go to the queen Vic market or Footscray market and try and buy my meats in bulk. Has helped in a lot of ways, eating healthier, buying better produce and just feel overall.

      • +1 vote

        In my opinion, it depends on the area.

        If there are lots of cheaper butchers outside or nearby, then the big chain supermarkets rarely get any customers and yet they still have to sell the meat/fish. I'm not sure how much is thrown away.

        It's a bit like fruit, you can always see overpriced apples at Woolworths that are at times almost about to rot sitting on the shelf whilst the shop outside barely meters away sells their whole cardboard container daily. It depends on if the guy in fruit and veg decides he wants to dump it or not, and usually they don't (This varies greatly from store to store and is mostly based on the personal opinions of the fruit and veg manager at Woolworths…). For example, dragonfruits in my area almost never sell at Woolworths, they all rot away, but since it is such a high value product, they keep it for sale even though it looks like rubbish compared to the store nearby. They don't sell because it's double the price of the store nearby… lol.

        I think this is an important factor to take into account. Does anyone know if the big supermarkets try to stretch the shelf life or not? It seems like they probably would due to profit optimisation. The small businesses would too if they didn't have many customers.

    • +2 votes

      +1 …..I am over Coles/Woolworths and their so called 'fresh produce' - the local butcher is dearer but quality always faultless. I did know a female Coles deli manager who told me to always ask for the deli meat to be cut -never purchase the pre-sliced stuff on display……because you really don't want to know how long it sits in those trays :/

      • +2 votes

        Meat from Coles has always been really good for me. Not the same can be said for meat from Woolworths. Not off but just not really that good.
        I tried fish from both and I will never buy any fish in Coles or Woolworths again. I think it takes too long to get to the point of sale. Fresh fish only has 2, max 3 days life. After that it is…smelly!

  •  

    Snapper for fish cakes? You must be loaded.

    • +1 vote

      Salmon is the best though

      •  

        The best for fish cakes used to be the really cheap "Australian Salmon" in a large can…I haven't seen it for years though, and pink salmon just doesn't have the same oomph! :(

  •  

    Fresh fish should never smell fishy. Should only have a salty odour reminiscent of salty water, not a fishy smell. Chuck it.

  •  

    Bought some "reduced" fish from Coles deli for the cat. He ate it once, the next day he rejected it. It was off. Yes it does get smellier as it ages and yes, you should always get your receipt at the checkout and yes, you can return it if you do it quickly. A product should be fit to do as it was intended. i.e it should be fit to eat.

  • +1 vote

    This sort of thing has happened to me 2 or 3 times and have no trouble returning it for a replacement.

    The really annoying thing is that when you go to cook dinner you don't have the main ingredient.

  • +1 vote

    I've had refunds from Woolworths just by emailing them with details of the purchase and providing scans of my receipts or photos of the label on the wrapping paper.

  • +1 vote

    Woolworths have a "Fresh or free" policy. Ring and tell them your story and they will issue you with a store voucher.

  • +1 vote

    The very strong 'old fish' smell is a sign that the fish is being broken down by bacteria. Having had a similar scenario with "off chicken" and a dose of food poisoning because I thought that the smell would go away and it would taste OK once it was cooked, is only ever - wishful thinking. My body now has memory for any chicken that is on its way to being "off" and reacts instantly the minute I put it in my mouth. Australian Food Safety Legislation exists to protect consumers from getting sick and in some instances being hospitalised (and even death). Fresh fish has a very short shelf life when on display. Companies that don't follow strict laws about Food Safety and as a result people contract food poisoning, then the store (or restaurant) can be shut down and prosecuted if it can be proven - and it usually can be - was negligent in the storage and use of fresh food. Your fish was either stored or displayed incorrectly or definitely over its use by date and should not have been available for sale. Now if I buy fish, chicken (fresh and barbecued) or sliced meats and I open it up at home and it is slimy, smelly or not cooked through, I take it straight back and offer to the Supervisor/Manager to have a smell, touch or feel of it. They always decline- and never hesitate to refund and provide additional new product to the same weight. If it is not possible to take back straight away - I freeze it and take it back later, and make sure that it has started to thaw so they can have a whiff if they are brave. The only time I had a problem was with a Woolworth store when I bought fresh chicken that smelt like the chemicals used to clean the display cabinets at the end of the day. The Manager disputed my claim that it had a cleaning chemical odour. I mentioned that I had sensitivity to "off" chicken as a result of food poisoning and he and then blamed Inghams Chickens. I told him that I bought it from his store and he should take responsibility - not send it down the supply chain. On that note - he did. The wrapping paper with the weight sticker should be as good as a receipt.

    •  

      My body now has memory for any chicken that is on its way to being "off" and reacts instantly the minute I put it in my mouth.

      Isn't it amazing the accurate defense mechanisms we can develop…I'm exactly the same now, and it's continually saving my bacon.

      I was with a group of people at a dodgy restaurant a while back & we got served some pretty sketchy chicken tikka…one whiff was all it took at it approached my pie-hole, I knew it was off. The more wise folks in the group listened to my advice, so we were all fine; the more umm, adventurous ones; however, had a pretty rough night thereafter! ;)

    •  

      Had an off zuccinni once, it was a bit soft when I cooked it but I thought it would be OK. It tainted all the other vegetables I steamed with it and tasted absolutely foul. Took me a while to where I could eat Zuccinni again.

  • +2 votes

    Yes, any supervisor worth their weight will return it without a receipt. The sticker/wrap will make life much easier for them. If they seem nice enough, ask for fresh and free, which is the replace and refund, although they will probably want a receipt for that - but will waive that if you seem genuine.

  • +1 vote

    People are surprised that rotting corpses smell like rotting corpses?

    •  

      We've all come to expect that mortuary fresh smell…

    •  

      There is a seafood smell and there is a bad seafood smell, bad seafood is like a vegan telling you they're a vegan, people will tell you :P

  •  

    You can try bringing in your fish cakes to woolies and tell the supervisor it taste (and smells) like crap…He would probably give you one of those free recipe books.

    And I thought all deli purchases have like a little sticker with the weight and price of the meat that is stuck on the paper wrapper?

  •  

    This happens to me all the time, I try to buy and cook on the same day so I can take it back and they can weigh the fish to ascertain it is the same fish.

    It would help if we also knew which suburb you are in. Generally living in an enclave style area means the meat/produce is not very fresh… Albeit it is cheap, but cheap isn't good when it's borderline dangerous to eat.

  •  

    I got a good outcome a few years back.

    Bought the premade caesar salad, didn't have the croutons inside it, I submitted a feedback, got a phone call the next day and they sent me a $5 gift voucher - didn't even come back to the store, I only needed to tell them which store it was from.

  •  

    I bring it home open it up and a strong fishy smell fills the kitchen

    A fishy smell from snapper, eh? Whatever next?

  •  

    I just tried returning canned tuna to Woolies, they delivered the wrong flavours. It was like pulling teeth I had to compromise for a partial refund even with their change of mind policy.

  •  

    The last fish box that I picked up from Woolworths was also really fishy. But she was worth it… Wait

  •  

    Isn't most of their fish from China, Thailand, Vietnam & New Zealand and is simply defrosted here? Is the snapper caught in Aus?

  •  

    Just got this in an email from Woolies today and thought of this post. Hope its helpful - https://www.woolworths.com.au/Shop/Discover/fresh/fresh-or-f...

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