QUALITY MORE IMPORTANT THAN PRICE AFTER MASSIVE BEEF RECALL
Albertans love their meat, but when news of the XL Food’s E. coli outbreak hit the media, the love became tainted.
The outbreak affected beef products at big chain grocery stores in early September and by early October over 1,500 meat products were pulled from shelves to preserve consumer safety. Today, the E. coli strain has travelled all the way to Nanaimo, BC, and the number of recalled beef products numbers over 2,000.
Most consumers reacted to the news with inquisitive concern and the answers aren’t always available at bigger and cheaper grocers like Costco or Safeway. So, they are moved to local meat markets.
The Better Butcher, a local butcher shop located in the Heritage community, has seen a 20 per cent increase in sales as the E. coli contamination became more prevalent. Customers have stopped looking at the price tag, and started learning about the meat producing processes.
Randy Hnatuk, owner and butcher at the Better Butcher, says customers not only come to his corner shop to buy meat, but also to get important questions answered about E coli and other harmful bacteria that could be on their food.
Because customers can also see how Hnatuk stores the meat, prepares it and packages it, they feel confident that their meat is fresh and safe for themselves and their families.
“People know they can trust us, and that’s why 90 per cent of our customers are regulars,” Hnatuk says.