A local newly revamped Woolworths has been rebuked by a customer on social media for selling halal and non-halal products in the same refrigerator. Perturbed shopper, Shafieka Samodien was outraged on Sunday when she spotted a fridge at the Meadowridge store that separated halal poultry and non-halal meats with fish.
“The halaal chicken, schnitzel and burgers were placed with pork products in the same fridge, only separated by fish. I immediately addressed this with the admin manager and told her that stores should have protocol and regulation regarding halal and kosher food and the halal certification cannot be disregarded. My concern was about cross-contamination as this fridge had been packed that way since Tuesday,” she told VOC News.
Samodien said she was assured by the admin manager that the store manager, who was off on that day, would contact her. When the call came four hours later, she found the attitude of the store manager disturbing.
“I spent so much time on calls with her as well as Woolies customer service, only to be called back by a store manager who sounded like this was no big deal and had the attitude of one who clearly didn’t care for my complaint that much. The store manager said that he knew this but that the layout had come from head office, blatantly disregarding the information I got from their customer care. He said the customer care did not have experience with customers and did not know what happens in a store. Not once did this manager apologize for the situation nor did he apologize or appreciate the fact that I went through all this effort,” she continued.
“He couldn’t care less. The fact that he called me four hours later showed me it wasn’t his priority. The fact that that he said the store doesn’t have halal meat and that he doesn’t know chicken also needs to be halal certifies, shows his ignorance.”
Samsodien said she was contacted by Woolworths regional manager on Monday, who apologised for the error.
The MJC Halaal Trust director Shaykh Achmat Sedick said the trust immediately reached out to the Woolworths to ensure corrective measures are put into place.
“We have also communicated with the headquarters of Woolworths to ensure that clear and specific regulations are in place to prevent any form of cross-contamination of halal and non-halal products at any Woolworths store,” stated Shaykh Sedick.
VOC News has reached out to Woolworths and awaits official comment on the incident.