Chicken pot pie should not smell like that!

For some reason, I have been craving chicken pot pie. I decided to get a pre-made one from the supermarket deli on my way home from work.

I got home, read the directions for reheating, then opened the package.


That thing smelled like a gut wound to the most unhealthy person that ever lived. Good God! I mean, it smelled like that time when our dog had a major case of the shits all over the family room.

No, it smelled worse than that.

Now I’m guessing that something in that pie turned south, but I’m not completely sure. Could cold chicken pot pie really smell like a bad case of hobo diarrhea and still be safe to eat?

Somehow, I can still smell it faintly. What a horrific odor that produced.

Sometimes shoppers decide that they don’t want an item after all. Many people are kind enough to put refrigerated items back in a cold case. Some prefer to hide them behind the men’s underwear (I found a pack of deli-sliced ham filed neatly behind two packs of Jockeys). Now, when an employee finds such items, s/he has to decide whether to get the manager to write the item off as bad, or whether the item is cold enough to slip back into the case. Finding the manager means that the manager might be angry about the loss and take it out on the clerk. On the other hand, if the clerk can manage to slip it back into a cold case, who’s going to know? Until our unsuspecting OP comes along and buys it…

If it was over $5 I’d think about taking it back for a refund, but would the store give me one? How about if it was a week after I bought it and the receipt was long gone?

“Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot piiie.”

I’ve often wondered about this when I find a cold or frozen item where it’s not supposed to be. I usually take it up to the checker and make a point of letting them know that I found it in an inappropriate place, but I always wonder if it will just end up getting tossed back in the cooler. I try not to think about it too much, but it’s in the back of my mind…

Chicken stinks quicker than any protein I buy. I try to visit Popeyes for fried chicken on the evening before trash day. I eat and then take the box to the curb can. That way it’s gone early the next morning. Chicken bones will nearly knock you down within 24 hours.

My grandmother made stock from chicken bones. I still shudder at the stench in that house. I love dumplings made from chicken stock. But don’t invite me over when you make the stock.

Yeah, I now put my raw chicken trimmings in a Ziplock bag then throw them away a la the Anal Retentive Chef, or I just take the trash out to the curb that night. I thought a mouse had died under the kitchen cabinets until I figured out it was the trimmings from 12 hours prior.

It really, really depends on the clerk, and how the manager reacts when s/he finds out about it. Some managers will do everything they can to avoid writing off merchandise as unsaleable, because it does reflect badly on their store’s record. If the manager has an explosive temper, then the clerk is likely to be the target of the explosion, as the customer is now long gone. And some clerks are just too damn lazy, or just don’t care if someone gets sick from food gone bad, to write up the paperwork. If you combine these two, then the clerk is even more likely to think “I can’t be bothered to do the right thing” and will toss that pie back in the case, even if it’s completely warm now.

By the way, MOST of the workers (clerks and managers alike) are actually pretty conscientious about this sort of thing…the manager might wince and grumble a bit, but s/he’ll tell the clerk to throw it out, and won’t take it out on the clerk. It’s just the occasional bad apple or two that can ruin your dinner.

That’s not normal.

I’ve worked in many stores when I was younger and have never seen the kind of manager behavior you’re describing. If something was left out in a different aisle, and it was, it was written off. I’ve never seen a manager make an issue, and I’ve never seen a manager explode over something so trivial. In most of the stores people work in nowadays managers that behave that way would be very short lived. I don’t doubt that it could happen but it’s definitely not normal.

I’ve bought chicken that has an expiration date a few days out, only to be surprised by the rotting odor as soon as I open the package. That smell takes no time at all to develop, and once there it becomes overpoweringly awful in an incredibly short amount of time. I’ve gone back to the store with just the receipt - there’s no way I’m sitting in a closed car with that mess - and they refund my money without question.

Agreed. I worked in a grocery story for almost seven years (going through over a dozen managers), and a cold item found on the shelves (which happened multiple times daily) never merited more than a shrug and a “Put it with the damages,” even from the otherwise ill-tempered ones.

It’s just one of the costs involved in doing business and most grocery stores plan for some loss from that as well as shrinkage.

I only cook chicken on Mondays and Thursdays for the same reason, trash pickup is the next day.

A couple of months ago I bought 20 pounds of pork ribs from a certain wholesale store. When I opened the package the meat immedately turned a weird green/grey color and gave off the worst stench - the stench of death and decay. When I took it back to the store they treated it like toxic waste. One sniff and I had my money back.

Probably depends on the store, but the ones around here, VG’s and Kroger, seem to be really good about that. They might give you a replacement instead of a refund, though.

In my experience, it is. I’m not sure chicken is worse an offender, but if I make stock and dump the bones and mirepoix in the trash, it stinks up the house to high heaven within 18 hours.

You guys just reminded me to get that bag o’ chicken guts out of the freezer and take it out to the trash. Pickup tomorrow.

I was on a canned chicken and dumplings kick for awhile. What ever the brand was came in a blue can for what it is worth.

They always tasted fine…but to be honest the smell WAS rather offputting. Now ALL those cans could not have been bad. So, at least in my case it was something about the smell of the canned chicken and dumplings. A commercial pot pie probably shares some commonalities with said product.

Also, though I love chicken and chicken broth, the smell of boiling chicken broth also almost makes me gag if the smell hits me wrong.

Long story short. Even okay chicken can stink to high heaven for me…

One day at work, one of the ladies announced that she had cooked some chicken the night before, and had brought the remainder in for lunch. She put the leftovers in the microwave; after a few seconds, an ungodly stench had permeated the break room. Turns out she had purchased the chicken from one of those discount freezers you see at certain grocery stores; it was at its expiration date when she cooked it.

seconded. (thirded?) worked at a large grocery chain for over 10 years, and the policy was always that any perishable item found outside the cooler/freezer/whatever got tossed, even if it still felt cold. no need to involve a manager, just put it in the designated spot the store has for damages. this is a several times daily occurence in most grocery stores, as Rollo noted, and even the dumbest manager knows it’s not the clerks fault.

The place I worked at was more of a convenience store than a grocery, although we had a deli and sold some produce. The first manager that I worked under was pretty much incompetent, and the second was…pretty weird. I always suspected her of doing drugs. Both of them, though, would fly into towering rages when they were told that the chicken or deli meat was bad and had to be thrown out and written off. Some of the clerks would just avoid telling the manager that the stuff had gone bad, and leave it for the next shift to take care of. I know that on a few occasions, stuff that had gone bad was put out for sale, and someone bought it, because the clerks were afraid of the managers. We were supposed to do things like take a box of envelopes off the store shelf, write it off as store equipment, and then use the envelopes, but both of those managers would fly into rages, again, if this happened a lot. Yeah, you don’t want your employees to start taking supplies home, but you shouldn’t make them afraid to incur your wrath when they follow the written procedure, either.

Employee turnover was pretty rapid, as you can imagine. Who’d want to stay in such a job? But it was a job that I could find in a hurry. And I found another job as soon as I could.

The other place I worked at which had a problem with inventory was actually a dress shop. The manager and her best friend, the assistant manager, would try to avoid writing off merchandise because they were altering price tags to give themselves better deals. The manager got a commission of the store’s sales, but no commission from employee sales, so she’d calculate the employee discount, write up a new price tag or two, and then submit the sale as a regular sale which counted towards her commission. Or the manager would let the assistant manager pay for two pairs of panties, and take three pairs, since the assistant manager’s discount was 1/3. The manager was in the habit of “borrowing” a cocktail dress for her Saturday night date and then bringing it back on Tuesday, after she’d worn it for several hours. She justified this by saying that she was careful not to get it dirty, and that most of the clothes got tried on several times before someone bought them. I was just glad that we didn’t have the same tastes, and that I never wanted an outfit that she liked.

I’ve worked in other places where this sort of thing didn’t happen, or at least I didn’t see it. I’d prefer to think that it doesn’t happen very often at all. But I have seen it happen.