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2012-03-22

Local grocery not restocking refrozen items

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

The rain and wind that blew through the area the night of Monday, March 19, brought not only flooded roadways, but also a flood of rumors the next day.

In an interview the afternoon of March 20, Glenn Griffith, store manager of the local grocery store, Super S-Lowe's, assured his customers that store freezers were not being restocked with pizzas, dinners and other food that had been previously thawed during a power outage.

Earlier that day, an unidentified caller had brought the power outage to the attention of the Bandera County Courier. She expressed concern that, if returned to the now-functioning freezers, foodstuffs that had allegedly thawed overnight would harm elderly and chronically ill people if consumed.

Fearing for consumers' safety, the caller said, "I don't think that's right, but everyone seems to be just looking out for the bottom line now.

It's all about money, not about the customers."

When questioned, however, Griffith said the problem, caused when the severe storm knocked out a compressor that powered two freezers, had been repaired in short order.

"We threw away a lot of items, such as ice cream that melted rapidly," Griffith continued, "and salvaged what was not thawed. None of the items that we returned to the freezers had thawed."

Bandera City Administrator Mike Cardenas recalled a similar incident had happened several years ago. "I know at that time, they threw away a lot of food," he said in an interview. "In this day, no grocery store would ever knowingly sell food that had been thawed and refrozen."

Concurring, Griffith said, "I would never allow anything to be put back in freezers that would not be safe to consume."