Saturday, January 1, 2011

Spectrum Oil Alert

Spectrum olive oil

I recently purchased several liter bottles of Spectrum’s Organic Mediterranean Olive Oil which has been a staple in my kitchen for many, many years. Unfortunately, when I opened one of these bottles, I got a nasty surprise. The oil smelled and tasted disgusting!

When I called Spectrum, the CSR took detailed notes and then suggested I open the second bottle. It was as funky as the first! By now, I’m getting a little freaked out despite the offers of coupons to replace the product.

A few days later I was in the store where I purchased the oil and told the grocery manager about my experience. We marched over to the shelf and saw that bottles with a similar production date were on the shelf. She took a few to open and guess what!! They were equally as disgusting as the ones I had purchased months before. The shelf was cleared immediately.

The store called Spectrum the following day and arranged to send the whole lot back for testing. However, Spectrum said they will not release the results of those tests. So I called again and this time their tune was slightly different. The CSR kept reiterating that it was ‘an isolated incident’ that was probably due to improper storage or handling (which it may be) and I could chose not to buy their products. What’s the loss of one customer when the alternative might be a very public recall of a product unfit for consumption!!

So I decided to alert the conscientious consumers who frequent this site. If any of you have run across one of these bad bottles, please contact us so we can inform Spectrum that this is NOT an isolated incident. And you should call Spectrum yourself if you’ve had a problem!!!

Here’s the production code on the funky oil:

06 JUL 1200xxxx
W003030

This experience was quite instructive. It proves once again that organics are in the grip of corporate-think. But perhaps even more disturbing is the realization that no one else noticed that this oil was not quite right. Is the American palette so dead that it can’t tell the difference between wholesome and unwholesome food? How can we possibly ‘fix’ the dilemma of industrial food production if as consumers we are unable to discern the quality of the foods on supermarket shelves? It’s all too depressing to contemplate . . .

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