Giant Eagle on Allergy Signage… [Incident #: 12702111]


So, remember my allergen warning sign photos from Dunkin’ Donuts and Giant Eagle?  I wrote to both of them to thank them for displaying the signs, and Giant Eagle is the first to reply.  I submitted this via webform:

Hello,

I’d like to thank you for actively posting allergen awareness/warning signage.  Sunday, I came upon this sign above some chocolate chunk (& other) cookies on a display table at the GE in Parkway Center: http://bit.ly/bg09rX

As someone with a severe allergy to shellfish, I appreciate these kinds of signs… but the all-inclusive sign begs the question:  Did these cookies come into contact with any shellfish in the bakery?  I hope not!  I worry enough about the crab cakes & seafood salad in the deli counters!

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you!

-Eric
me@my.email.address

And their reply:

From: sc autoemail <sc.autoemail@gianteagle.com>
To: “me@my.email.address” <me@my.email.address>
Sent: Fri, October 8, 2010 9:06:49 AM
Subject: In response to Giant Eagle Incident #: 12702111

ServiceCenter Operator: arabia michele

In response to your recent communication:

Incident #: 12702111

Brief Description:
Store: Parkway Center Giant Eagle Hello, I’d like to tha

Response:
At  10/08/10 09:06:47  we wrote:
10/08/10 09:06:47 (arabia michele):

Good Morning Eric,

Thank you for contacting Giant Eagle and for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us regarding our allergen signs and the possibility of cross-contamination of shellfish in the bakery.

The sign was generated to alert allergen sensitive customers that our stores do process all allergens. You are correct in your assumption that seafood is not present in the bakery department. We appreciate your feedback and will use it to determine signage needs in the future.

If you have any further questions or comments, please contact our Customer Care Department toll-free at 1-800-553-2324.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us and please know that we welcome your thoughts and feedback in the future.

Sincerely,

Michele Arabia
Bakery Merchandising Department
Giant Eagle, Inc.

I’d like to see stores become more active in labeling prepared foods, but this is a a start.  As noted in the comments on my last allergy post, they are currently doing more than required by law… so that’s a good thing.

 

https://aixelsyd13.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/allergy-sign-giant-eagle-p_00533.jpg

It’s a Southern thing, just ask Willie.


Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

Tyson Foods | Ask Willie

So, my apologies to Mrs. Barber, apparently Willie is also a girl’s name down south.  Ha ha.  You guys need to read my letter to Tyson about the soggy not smelly tiger-tender, and you’ll know what this is all about.  Here’s some follow-up…

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Sat, Oct 2, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

Buenos Dias Mr. Barber!

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my missive.  I’m glad that it entertained and proved interesting!  The information from your Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager is enlightening.  I guess if I had thought about it, I may have arrived to the same conclusion… as my wife did.  Perhaps she should look into Quality Assurance as a career?

Sadly there was no golden ticket type prize for the tiger-tender, but certainly some complimentary coupons would brighten my day.  Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated!  My address is:

ERiC AiXelsyD
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Pittsburgh, PA  XXXXX

I still need to look into sending Duquesne Light a bill for my prematurely perished perishables, perhaps cluing them in to your generosity will tip the scales in my favor?  Maybe I should send them the tiger-tender and see if they like soggy formerly-frozen foodstuffs in their freezers.

I’m flattered that you had previously read my ramblings on the web, and honored that you remembered my name!  Now I’m curious as to how I came to be on your radar.  I tend to be goofy at times, and serious at others.  Life’s all about balance… why not enjoy the balance when it swings to the absurd?  Your kind of reply is my favorite.  You may not be surprised ad how many of these types of emails fail in providing a response.  Some people are apparently just too uptight!

I enjoy many of your fine products, and now will even more… and I’ll recommend more to my friends & family!

A good day to you sir,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

PS – Think there’s any headway at all to be made with Arby’s & the distribution of their Bronco Berry Sauce?

And, she wrote back…

from    Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    RE: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    tyson.com

Happy Monday Morning!

As I recall, I chanced upon your name/blog while researching one of our customers—maybe McDonald’s, Burger King, or Subway?   Thanks for the address–the coupons will be mailed tomorrow.

By the way, I am a Mrs. not a Mr.  It’s a Southern thing!  AskWillie

Willie Barber

So, she’s read one of my various diatribes on Subway or my disdain for a nearby McDonald’s.  Quite amusing!  I don’t think I’ve messed with Buger King for a long time.

It is sad that she hasn’t addressed the Bronco Berry sauce issue, but I’m sure she can’t or won’t for corporate reasons.

I wrote back once more:

from    ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
to    “Barber, Willie” <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
date    Mon, Oct 4, 2010
subject    Re: Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by    gmail.com

My Apologies, Mrs. Barber(!),

I guess I should have done my own research!  Ha ha.

I have certainly blogged extensively about a local McDonald’s who is as slovenly as they are slothful, and another who is run exceptionally well and always seems to be clean, efficient, and orderly.  Plus, McDonald’s is just so fun to poke.

I also have an ongoing thing with Subway about their seafood subs and cross-contamination.  I have a severe shellfish allergy, and find them quite irresponsible as far as posting warnings, using the same knife to cut all their subs, and in replying to their customers.  Perhaps you ought to go over there and teach them how to run things!  They never did answer my question about having an in-house subway instead of a cafeteria or kitchen in their corporate offices.  No sense of humor or customer satisfaction, there!

Thanks again for the coupons, my wife & I both appreciate the gesture!

Tyson’s Newest #1 Fan,
-ERiC

…and no reply as of yet, not that I really need one in this instance.  This was just some shameless plugging.  I’m just waiting for my awesome coupons.

Also… if you follow the Ask Willie link, is that the coolest job description, or what?

Allergen Signage


Over the weekend I was at two places where I saw these allergen signs, the Dunkin’ Donuts in Dormont, and the Giant Eagle in Parkway Center.  Generally when I see these signs it makes me happy that the place who’s taking my money is at the very least aware that there are products that they have on the premises that may cause certain people some discomfort or possibly even death.

Dunkin' Donuts | Allergen Warning Signage
Dunkin’ Donuts | Allergen Warning Signage

In viewing the allergen information online as the sign suggests, I’m glad that a glazed donut doesn’t contain any crustaceans, but I may now have to scour the rest of the site to see if anything does.   Ha ha ha.

Giant Eagle | Allergen Warning Signage
Giant Eagle | Allergen Warning Signage

I gambled yesterday, hoping that the chocolate chunk cookies  I purchased didn’t come into contact with any shellfish in the bakery.  If I died from eating them, according to this sign, it’s my fault.  I was warned, and should have discussed the risks of cross-contamination with my doctor.

You’ll hopefully be glad to know that I’m not dead, and I had a few cookies last night.  Wow, I had poor eating habits this weekend.  Ha ha ha.  Donuts & Cookies.

At any rate, the fact that they simply acknowledge that allergies exist is a great start.  It’s sad, but so many other food-service companies go with the “it’s not our problem” mantra.  I always thought that Five Guys Burgers  & Fries to be very pro-active with their peanut allergy warnings, and I have commented on the Market District in Robinson’s allergen warnings before.

If you suffer from allergies, do these signs make you feel safer, or are they a blanket statement like “No Lifeguard on Duty” or “Park at Your Own Risk”, trying to absolve the poster of any wrongdoing should a mishap occur?

The blanket statement from Giant Eagle seems a little forced, or an afterthought… as I’m sure there aren’t many lobster cookies in the bakery, but then again there just might be.  How am I to know?  Do I just take this sign as a warning to not eat any food that they prepare?  The sign itself is a great thing, but if it were tailored just a little more to the actual product, it might be more comforting.

I know I’m always afraid of the stuff in the deli counter that’s next to the crab cakes or a seafood salad…  I don’t want a pasta salad with death-fish in it.  Yes, that one little glob of death-juice can kill me.  I don’t see any allergen warning signs there where they’d also be appropriate.  But, I don’t want to get down on Giant Eagle.  They are taking steps in the right direction.  Perhaps I’ll even send them a quick email to let them know that as someone who suffers from a severe food allergy, I appreciate the signage.

If you suffer from allergies, have someone in the family that does, or have a friend that blathers incessantly about them (like me), I’d like to hear your thoughts on the signs.  Are they a good thing, or a bad thing?  Are they proactive or defensive?

What if you suffer from one that’s not a “big 8” allergen but also quite prevalent like corn, peppers, or chocolate?

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders…


So, not long ago, we got some of those bagged Tyson breast tenders. They’re a nice quick meal, and generally consistently good quality.  Although, in talking with Dave who serves them quite regularly, he seems to not find any of the “odd” ones that I mention below.  Do you get odd ones?  I’d like to open up discussion.

I opened an amusing dialog with Tyson, and here’s how it’s panned out so far:

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don’t feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things… whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean “left over”) from one of the many fast food chains.

On a side note… I really wish Arby’s would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It’s EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you’d have better luck with McDonald’s getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn’t you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though… I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it’s not, and I can’t… so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing1640w.jpg

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/creepy%20tyson%20chicken%20thing/Tiger-StripedNuggetThing2640w.jpg

These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don’t typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven’t seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this “deviant” to be exceptional.  Generally, there’s the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 “off” breast tenders to a pack.  This isn’t the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the “Siamese twin” one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time… where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I’m not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn’t understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It’s definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, but am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife’s dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark… Perhaps it’s a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I’m right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

And, the photos…

Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 1Tiger-Striped Nugget Thing 2

I submitted it via webform, and didn’t get any immediate responses… so of course, I Googled some “@tyson.com” email addresses until I came up with a few. Luckily, it worked!

from Barber, Willie <Willie.Barber@tyson.com>
to ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
date Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 6:13 PM
subject Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders
mailed-by tyson.com

Hello, ERiC AiXeLsyD:

Thank you for a very entertaining and interesting message!  The pictures were very helpful.

The Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager at the processing plant reviewed the picture of the “tiger tender”  and its compadre.   She related that the stripes are overcooked batter in crevices caused by the wire conveyor belt.  Sometimes when the batter is too thin, the wire belt will make “ridges” on the tenders.  Because the batter is thin, it cooked up darker compared to the rest of the batter on the tender.  The sugar in the honey also adds to a darker color profile. She also related that the other picture looked like there wasn’t enough batter or it popped off during freezing or packing.

So, it appears that the tiger tender and the rare specimen are simply suffering from the lack of batter–nothing interesting or covert!   Send me your postal address and I will send some complimentary coupons to help your Hunger for Chicken Tenders.

Best regards,

Willie D. Barber
Manager, Consumer Relations

PS  Some time ago while researching on the web, I happened to visit your blog and became intrigued with your name.   Surprisingly, I recognized it when your message was forwarded to me.  You are certainly a multi-talented person!

Couldn’t have asked for a better response. Ha ha ha. Not only did they write back, but they took it seriously, and it looks like I may get some free stuff or at least a coupon!  Bonus points for the use of the word compadre, even if there was no mention of McDonald’s and/or Arby’s.

Also… the PS?  I’m famous? Ha ha ha. I wonder where/how Mr. Barber previously came across my ramblings?  I didn’t think that many people read this thing.

Oh well, now I need to write back… but I’d still like to know about the odd ones.  Be it chicken tenders, pizza rolls, any frozen food… isn’t there generally always an odd one or two?

Peace, Poultry Potentates!

Recently, my wife brought home a bag of your delicious Honey Battered Breast Tenders.  I must say that they are the perfect dinner solution when we are pressed for time or just plain don't feel like cooking.  I generally over-indulge because the breading/batter is so delicious when cooked in the oven, and I thoroughly enjoy dipping things... whether it be in Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, just plain ketchup, A1, or a nugget-dipping sauce pilfered (I mean "left over") from one of the many fast food chains.  

On a side note... I really wish Arby's would bottle & sell their Bronco Berry Sauce®.  Perhaps you can talk to them about that?  It's EXCELLENT on chicken nuggets or tenders.  Maybe you'd have better luck with McDonald's getting their nugget sauces in stores?  Didn't you guys provide them with the not-quite-Chick-fil-A sandwich?

Too many tangents, my friends.  My mind wanders.  Well, not so much wanders as jumping randomly from thought to seemingly unconnected thought.  I assure you though... I do have a point in writing to you today.

I would like to see if I have won some sort of prize, or made some sort of amazing discovery.  Upon opening the most recently purchased bag of Honey Battered Breast Tenders [Mfg. Code 2390CNQ0610] to place on a baking sheet (covered in foil because I hate to clean up), out came this wild tiger-striped breast tender.  If this were an email, I would simply attach my photos, but it's not, and I can't... so I will provide you with a link to the photographic evidence on Photobucket:





These photos were taken of the tender just as it was after being pulled out of the bag, I did not cook this tender.

You can see that one side of the tender is more striped than the other.  Surely, I have made an amazing discovery.  Is this like Charlie Bucket's golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  Do I get a free tour of your facility now?  That would be quite exciting.  Quite exciting indeed!  I must confess that I don't typically stay up on current poultry-related events, so I haven't seen anything about the contest.  I was unaware on how to proceed, so I figured that I would reach out to you.

I found this "deviant" to be exceptional.  Generally, there's the accepted and expected amount of 2 or 3 "off" breast tenders to a pack.  This isn't the usual overcooked/brown one, a non-fully coated one, the mysterious black spot one, or the "Siamese twin" one(s?).  (I saw these machines on the Food Network or History Channel one time... where this laser shot odd-colored potato chips out of the line.  Perhaps you ought to look into borrowing one over a weekend to see if it works out on your line?)

I immediately placed the chicken tender with war paint into a plastic freezer-bag and placed it back in the freezer.  I can certainly send it to you upon request, although I'm not sure where to obtain dry ice for safe shipping.

Also, there was a ridiculously short yet violent storm in the area last week that knocked out our power for two days.  Most everything else in the freezer and refrigerator ended up in our trash cans because our power company doesn't understand the importance of a solid infrastructure quite like it should.  (Our power has gone out for more than 24 hours on three separate occasions this year alone.)  

I kept the tiger-tender, and did open the Ziploc® bag to take a whiff.  It's definitely not rancid, but it did get to a point where it was more soggy than frozen.  I have considered sending a bill for my wasted food (including about 1/2 the bag of Tyson Honey Battered Breast Tenders) to Duquesne Light, buy am unsure of the legality.

Well, my de-feathered friends, I thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this rare specimen.  I wait with hardly contained excitement, much to my wife's dismay.  For some strange reason, she thinks that the zebra-tender is just a fluke, and not a prize winning game-piece, or as I had suggested one night while sitting in the dark... Perhaps it's a new top secret flavor, unveiled in a covert manner to the masses.  Help me prove that I'm right!

Hungry for Knowledge as well as Chicken Tenders,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

Time for a game: What does this say? + Storm Damage Photos…


So, the other night a ridiculous storm that lasted only a few minutes wreaked havoc all over Pittsburgh’s south hills.  With the electric out and not much else to do, the fun thing for us to do when  it’s light out & no longer raining is to go to the park with a camera.  I got some interesting shots of the storm damage as darkness fell, and we ran into a bunch of people in the park from the surrounding area, and we were all quite talkative.

(Is it odd that we have a regular “routine” for when the power goes out?)

One young man was walking his dog, and I got a few pics of the dog that he said he’d like to see.  No problem, right?  I asked him to write down his email address.

In hindsight, I have no idea why I don’t think like it’s the 2010s and just put information like this in my phone that’s always in my pocket.

Why is that an issue?  Well, this is what I got…

wmailwtf

abfdbzklxfdklgbzbkx7832sjjb34t

I’d certainly like to email the kid the photos… hopefully they have power by now too.  I just really have no idea what that says… other than “@msn.com”.  I think.

I’d appreciate any help/suggestions that you may have!

If you’re interested in taking a look at my photos, you can check them out on Photobucket:

Here’s a weird bug, a tree that just needed to sit for a minute, the dog, and a shot that isn’t storm damage, but I like it anyway:


Photos | Ernie and the Berts / Vagora @ The Fallout Shelter (Sept. 10th, 2010)


Photos from my camera, shots of Ernie and the Berts taken by Lynn Payne. The other band is Vagora, shots of them taken by me. Thumbs below take you to the individual shots at Photobucket, or try these links…

Photobucket:

Facebook:

31st Street Pub Photos – Ernie and the Berts / the Shutouts / the Undercover Saints


Got some cool photos the other night from Ernie and the Berts‘ first official show at the 31st Street PubBethany took all the ones of Ernie and the Berts, I took the ones of the Shutouts and the Undercover Saints.


To see the whole album, you have these options…

I had a good time taking the photos, hope you enjoy ’em.  It’s good to be out & about and watching vital punk bands still playing.

You should definitely check out the Shutouts and the Undercover Saints some time soon if you’re into Pittsburgh punk rock.  I found some free music online too…

You can’t afford not to check ’em out now.  (Or would that be… You can’t afford to not check ’em out now?)

Blowin’ in the wind.


If you live in the ‘Burgh, you know we got some serious storm winds & some damage on Friday afternoon.  The storm hit one of my favorite places to take photos, Dormont Park.  So, of course I got some pictures of some trees knocked over and a utility pole down.

To see the whole album, check it out in slideshow or grid form.  We were without power for about a day and a half… and no damage was done to our place, so it could have been a lot worse.  I just thought the twisted broken trees made for some good photo subjects.

I reported the downed utility pole to Duquesne Light on Saturday right after I saw it… went back to look around today, it was still down… no caution tape or anything up, so I called the Dormont police.  Hopefully they send someone in to clean up, there’s usually a decent amount of people in the park, hope no one would come across the stuff & get hurt.

Also, in the same set of photos… nothing really to do with the storm, we hit up Chick-fil-A for breakfast & the use of a power outlet to charge our phones on Saturday morning as our power was out, I happened to have my camera in the car… I saw some kind of hawk or falcon on a light pole near the Chick-fil-A in South Hills.  At first I thought it was an owl, upon a second glance I really wasn’t sure at all.

Anyone know what it is?

Some kind of bird of prey outside Chick-fil-A in the South Hills...

3 shots of the Chick-fil-A Bird...

Clemente Bridge @ Night


Clemente BridgeI recently submitted a photo to the Only In Pittsburgh blog, and they posted it today (Thanks Brett!).  So, this is nothing more than shameless self-promotion.  The photo featured is my current desktop @ work, and was part of a set that I took last year at PNC Park.

I find the bridge more visually interesting than anything actually in the park. I need to go back down & get some more views of the city this summer.  I have no idea how I managed to get a night photo that wasn’t blurry without the use of a tripod.

Only In Pittsburgh is a cool blog to check out if you like photography & if you like the ‘Burgh.  I follow them on Twitter to get my daily dose of Yinzer pride.

Parking …what?


Some people will do anything to save a parking space…

Move this!