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Crooked at Hows Market

I was in the area of Hows market on Lankershem and needed some stuff for dinner. I went to the butcher and asked for a small prime rib roast he handed me a pre-packaged one in the display and I walked away. I was checking the meat out and saw a sell by date of two days ago. So I went back to the butcher to let him know. He proceeded to tell me that there is something wrong with the machine and it doesn't give correct dates and something or other and that it was packaged today. Ok. So I then went to the self serve meat dept. and found the exact same prime rib roasts with sell by dates 5 days from now. I then checked reviews from my phone and saw other people complaining about the very same thing. What gives? This is not a behavior one would look for in their butcher. There has to be some trust shared. It's a beautiful market but it's on my no go list now.

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  1. Use your instincts as you did, and definitely watch the by sell dates. Even though the product may be good, that store does not turn over merchandise very fast, and an item like prime rib they would really not like to have to take off the shelf.
    Their other stores, especially Pasadena, do good business, yet this particular one is very slow in developing as the neighborhood growth did not accompany the HOWS expansion as fast as HOWS would have liked.
    Still a very good place to shop, yet buyer beware is still the operative term.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carter

      Is there a corporate office you can complain to? I would let someone know.

      1. re: SIMIHOUND

        Can't imagine that an email via their website www.howsmarkets.com would not work.
        As I remember, they are based on west Arden in Glendale, fyi!
        Try 818.247.8419 if the email does not work.

    2. What did we do before they were required to have "sell by date" labels on items?

      Doesn't surprise me on things like meat, sometimes I could swear that meat items marked "managers special" in markets like Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons-they repackage meat with a new date label.

      Today I was at Trader Joe's to buy a quart of milk and the "sell by date" labels are all turned backwards and I found two with yesterday's date on them. I know the milk in those cartons are probably still good, but I reached back as far as I could to find some marked "12/26".

      1 Reply
      1. re: monku

        I've noticed this at the Irvine (UCI) Trader Joe's as well... especially for buttermilk, the sell-by dates are never very far off.

      2. I'm sure the management would not approve of such a practice. You would be doing everyone a disservice, including the store, if you didn't bring this up to them.

        1. Who regulates things such as this?

          Is it the CA Dept of Weights and Measures? Dept of Consumer Affairs? Some other agency?

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            "Who regulates things such as this?"
            Essentially nobody, from what I've ever been able to find out. The FDA only requires a Use-By date on infant formula, and the USDA only requires them on poultry if it's packaged at the farm. There's no law that states that food must still be tasty for X days after the "Sell-By" date. There are too many conditions that are out of the manufacturer's control (how much time do the groceries spend in your car on the way home, what's the temperature of your refrigerator, etc...)

            1. re: hlehmann

              I agree that there are no regulations on what must be sold by a certain date to taste good.

              But the problem here is one of decpetive marketing. There are definitely laws regulating that kind of conduct. At the federal level, I suppose it would be the FTC -- at the state or local level I'm not so sure.

          2. You can email Hows Markets at CustomerService@HowsMarkets.com or call (877) 275-4.697

            http://hows.foodmagic.com/fmap/jsphow...

            1. I was so excited when a Hows opened up in North Hollywood after the Glendale location closed. I love their meats and their prices. After about three visits I think Im done. Its a big let down. Every time I ask someone behind the counter for a particular cut they point me to a the pre packaged section. I never get what I ask for nor what you should expect from a place that calls itself a "full service butcher". It sucks and its the lazy guy with the bloody aprons fault.

              1 Reply
              1. re: blackbookali

                Wow. My experience at the Hows in Malibu has been the exact opposite. The people behind the fish and meat counter go out of their way to provide top quality service and products.

              2. The only market that seems to have a reputable full service meat and fish counter is Whole Foods. The staff is friendly and efficient and the meats and seafood that i have bought have always been top quality.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Hughlipton

                  certainly not the whole foods in woodland hills...........terrible

                  1. re: budlit

                    Yeah, the service counters at the various WFs are like people - they are all different and have their strengths and weaknesses, and unfortunately, the weaknesses can completely negate the strengths. One would think that like a cookie cutter, a meat department would be a meat department whether it's in Santa Monica, El Segundo, or West LA. But obviously, they're run by people - see my first sentence.

                    1. re: budlit

                      I go to the one on Coldwater and Riverside and have never had a complaint. Sorry to hear about Woodland Hills. Have you gone on the internet to their homesite to register a complain?