GREENSBORO, NC -- When a business, product or service provider doesn't meet your expectations, what do you do?
For many of you the short answer is: tell news 2.
2 wants to know gets dozens of calls and emails everyday.
Most of the time what you need is not to have your story on TV but help to resolve the issue. We're ready to help!
This story is all about food and food products. We get a lot of calls about food products that are bad or have something wrong with them. One of our co-workers got these tortilla chips which have some black spots on them.
PROBLEMS WITH STORE BOUGHT FOOD PRODUCTS
The State Department of Agriculture says the first thing you need to do is keep the product--package and all.
The dates, lot numbers and such are important.
Take pictures of the problem and the product packaging.
Take the product back where you bought it and call or email the manufacturer. Contacting the company or manufacturer is important--for the public's health.
If you want the manufacturer to do something, they need to know from you-- the consumer.
You should also file a complaint with the state 919-733-7366. No complaints are done on-line. When you file a complaint with the state, it helps them track problems and outbreaks.
It's not always convenient to go to the store right away.
Experts say put the product in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. This stops time and keeps the product from breaking down any more.
What is the reasonable expectation for MOST product problems? From the store, usually it is your money back or a new product. From the manufacturer, usually it is a coupon for a free product.
PROBLEMS WITH RESTAURANT/DRIVE THRU FOODS
Rebecca Rice with the Guilford County Department of Public Health is helping us out with this. She says if you notice something wrong with your food--stop eating! She says she hears people all the time say they knew something was wrong or off, but they ate the food anyway.
Always let the manager know there was a problem. Alerting the waitress/waiter isn't good enough. The manager should know what is going on in the kitchen.
If this is a drive-thru situation, you should still contact the manager either by phone or in person.
What is the reasonable expectation after you've complained? Rebecca says an apology for sure. Often, the restaurant will offer a discount or another meal. But there are no guidelines for what the response should be.
Rebecca says there is nothing wrong with taking a picture of the problem dish. Your next action step is to call your county health inspector. You can do this anonymously.
Don't know your county's environmental health phone number? No problem! Click here for a listing of the entire state.