Readers report finding tooth, cardboard, metal in Aldi food
A TOOTH, a hunk of cardboard with staples, metal and a steel stud fastener are among the foreign objects our readers say have been found in Aldi-bought products.
The claims follow revelations published in Fairfax Media this week that Melbourne Aldi customers had found maggots in Aldi-bought tomato paste and chocolate, and a fingernail in a tub of salted caramel ice-cream.
Aldi has described the incidents as "isolated" given the millions of food products it sells through its supermarkets each week.
The allegations are no longer restricted to Aldi's southern stores.
After the initial claims were published, Australian Regional Media asked readers if they had discovered anything unexpected in Aldi-bought products.
A handful of readers claimed to have found shocking objects in their food.
A Toowoomba customer described finding "a metal stud fastener" in a bag of frozen fries and a Gold Coast shopper found "an extremely sharp piece of metal about 3mm long" in leg ham bought from the budget supermarket.
A second Toowoomba reader told ARM he found "a rat or rodent tooth in a tub of ice cream" that was bought from his local Aldi store.
Sunshine Coast journalist Kathy Sundstrom discovered "cardboard, with staples" (pictured) in a jar of Aldi-bought peanut butter.
A refund was also given by Aldi for the stud fastener found in the bag of chips, according to the reader.
In the other cases, Aldi is unable to confirm whether an investigation was undertaken because it is unclear whether customers reported the problems to store management.
Readers also highlighted finding foreign objects or bugs in products bought from other major supermarket chains.
Others emphasised that they had never had any concern or issue with the quality of Aldi's merchandise.
An Aldi spokesman said the grocery chain sold more than "150 million groceries per month" and in 2014 won the Supermarket of the Year award in Roy Morgan's customer satisfaction awards.
"Aldi is taking the reports of individual product complaints very seriously," he said.
"We are working closely with each supplier to ensure quality assurance.
"Full investigations are being undertaken."
He said it remained unclear whether these issues were caused by problems with manufacturing, packaging or in the stores themselves.
Those with concerns about Aldi products are asked to phone 13 25 34 or visit the Aldi website.
The reports are the latest stomach-churning revelations to come from Australia's major grocery chains.
In the past month, a Hepatitis A outbreak has been traced back to "Nanna's" and "Creative Gourmet's" brands of frozen berries sold nationwide.
As of March 10, there were now 26 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A caused by the tainted berries, including 11 in Queensland and eight in New South Wales.
Maggots, fingernails, metal found in Aldi-sold foods
MAGGOTS and other foreign, non-edible objects are being discovered in food bought at Aldi stores in Melbourne.
After a report last week that a maggot was found in a jar of tomato paste bought from Aldi, customers are now claiming to have found "foreign objects and creatures" in other foods.
Fairfax Media reports one woman found "five live maggots" in a box of Mozart Chocolate she purchased from the cut-price supermarket around Christmas last year.
Another said they found "what appeared to be the leg of a starfish" in a tin of Ocean Rise smoked mussels.
In October, Tania Ewing told Fairfax her daughter "found a fingernail" in a tub of salted caramel ice cream.
Yet another customer said she found a "piece of metal" in a jar of Aldi-bought peanut butter.
There is not yet any suggestion that Aldi products in regional Queensland and New South Wales are affected.
Australian Regional Media has contacted Aldi for comment.
The supermarket has told Fairfax the claims were investigated and they did not appear widespread.
The maggot found in the tomato paste was now being dispatched to Aldi's suppliers for testing.
"Aldi has been investigating the issue thoroughly with the supplier and we will implement any further action if required," a spokesman said.
Read Aldi's full response to the claims below:
ALDI is committed to providing safe products of the highest quality.
If products sold in ALDI stores do not meet ALDI's stringent quality specifications, we have strict quality assurance policies to address any issues.
We place high expectations on our suppliers to ensure they provide products which are manufactured to the highest possible food safety standards.
Only after they meet our stringent criteria are they added to our range of exclusive brands.
We undertake regular testing with independent laboratories to ensure the ongoing safety, quality and regulatory compliance of our products.
If for any reason customers are not satisfied with ALDI's everyday grocery range, we will replace the product or provide a refund.
The issue with the jar of Remano Tomato Paste was raised last week and the following actions have been taken to ensure the customer's concerns are addressed:
- Wednesday, 4th March: Customer filled out online Customer Service form.
- Thursday, 5th March: ALDI's Customer Service Department (CSD) contacted the customer to advise their concern had been received and will be swiftly addressed. An investigation was also instigated with the supplier.
- Saturday, 7th March: The product was collected from the customer for investigation and is in transit to the supplier for testing.
- Monday, 9th March: ALDI's CSD contacted the customer to update them on their complaint's progress and will follow up with an outcome once confirmed by the supplier.
ALDI has been investigating the issue thoroughly with the supplier and we will implement any further action if required.
For any customer service enquiries, ALDI works closely with the customers to gather information which is then passed onto the supplier.
Where appropriate, the supplier conducts a thorough investigation and provides ALDI with corrective action to ensure there is no reoccurrence of the incident.
Any quality assurance issues are investigated and trends are monitored to ensure they are not widespread.
For the isolated incidents mentioned, those customers that have been in contact with ALDI have been responded to. We are committed to providing our customers with safe products of the highest quality.
All complaints are raised individually and investigated with extremely high importance.
ALDI will always remove any product from sale if it is identified as a risk to our customers.