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Jun 29, 2003 05:31 PM

pusateri's and whole foods

  • s

At Pusateri's today, a girl in her early teens, and her mother(presumably) were in the bakery section, and the girl proceeded to pick up Gryfe bagels with her bare hands (despite the fact there were tongs in each basket which were not being used by another patron)then put them back. This took place after she rubbed her nose! I shot a look at each of them, but the girl proceeded to manhandle the next basket of bagels...
And recently at Whole Foods, a woman in her late 20s proceeded to open the containers of hummus, hold the open container under her own nose to smell the hummus, then hold it under her male friend's nose, and say "Is this one too garlicky?" When he said yes, she put it back on the refrigerated shelf,and walked away. Again a look had no effect on these people. What is the proper etiquette in these situations? Should I be approaching the store managers? In my experience, confronting people with their etiquette faux-pas is a good way to end up in an argument in Toronto. Considering the effect SARS has had on our city...and considering the germs that are present on people's fingers and in their noses...why is this type of behaviour taking place?

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  1. Give it to them with both barrels, no diplomacy required. Same goes for those unauthorized to use H/C parking, can't drive etc, etc. If they cannot figure it out on their own , someone has set them straight, that is your job!

    1. I once got Korean take-out and saw the cook take a taste and put the same utensil back in the pot.

      Regarding your a place like Pusateri's (especially), I would have approached the managers. But cleanliness should be demanded anywhere.

      1. Well, as someone who regularly shops at Pusateri's AND occasionally buys Gryfe's bagels from there (when I can't get to the actual Gryfe store), I find that story truly appalling.

        Sunnyside, you should have said something.

        As the previous poster mentioned, it's your DUTY to the people of Toronto to point out this type of behaviour to the offending people. And, chances are, you're not really going to get a fight out of it, especially at Pusateri's. I mean the clientele there are hardly 'animals' so that type of behaviour makes me scratch my head even more.

        Let me tell you something that I witnessed a while ago at a certain Loblaws store at an upscale location. Sort of the same thing, but with another product. I was in awe as I actually watched someone squeeze various croissants and put them back since they weren't to his liking. I immediately walked right up to him and calmly said, "sir, could you please stop doing that, the tongs are right there, I don't want to purchase croissants that you've already squeezed", to which he said "mind your own business", to which I replied back in a VERY loud voice: "IT IS MY BUSINESS WHEN YOU'RE SQUEEZING ALL THE CROISSANTS IN THE BIN!, PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO HAVE YOUR GERMS ON THEM!", to which he turned an immediate shade of red, looked around and could see that there were numerous people who had heard me yell that out, and slowly looked down and apologized and said something about his hands being clean...and walked away. I then went to the bakery manager and explained what had happened and he immediately got someone to remove ALL the croissants from that bin and proceeded to have them re-filled with fresh ones. I could have hugged and kissed that manager with that move.

        Anyway, long story short, yeah it took a little extra time for me to confront the guy and then go to the manager, but in my opinion it was worth it.

        So, again, people like this, really, pigs is the only way to describe them, need to be told what they are doing is wrong. Or, if you feel so intimidated and you can't confront someone on this, just go immediately to the manager and tell them what happened.

        If not for me, or for the next guy, do it for yourself, since I think you'd want someone to watch out for you before you purchased a squeezed croissant with someone's grubby germs on it!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Vincero

          Absolutely right!
          We Canadians can be too polite. Speak up and make a difference.

          1. re: Vincero

            does the same offense hold for fruits and vegetables?
            i like to analyze the occasional melon, head of lettuce, or apple before purchasing.
            maybe not at upscale wholefoods or pusateri's, but at most markets, such as st.laurence or kensington, its par for the course.

            1. re: tommyD

              I think common sense dictates really, don't you?

              Obviously, when you can either peel or wash something such as fruits and vegetables, then it's a little more forgiving for you to cop a little feel.

              However, I'd say anything you CAN'T peel or wash SHOULD be handled differently, such as the bagel and croissant incidents.

              The problem is, I find that people **think** they're analyzing their produce, when what they're really doing is just damaging it. Taking an apple in your hand and looking at it from all angles to see if it's bruised is perfectly fine in my book. You're usually looking for blemishes, colour, aroma, and weight anyway. It's when things are squeezed to death, knocked around a few times, and thrown back in the pile when I start to worry.

              How to pick a great head of Romaine lettuce? Look right at the bottom and the core should be a creamy white colour NOT a redish/purplish colour if it's fresh. Also, it should be very heavy for its size.

              For melon? The squeeze test that most people do is erroneous for the most part. That just tells you if it's a soft or firm melon. What you need to do is smell it - it should SMELL like a cantaloupe! Also should be heavy for its size and the little dimple at the top? Give THAT a little press and if it gives, then the melon is ready to eat, if it's firm, then it needs to be set out on the counter for a few days before eating.

              I could go on forever explaining 'proper produce procedure' but I wouldn't know where to stop....

              1. re: tommyD

                To me the difference is in the tongs. I too want fresh baked goods, so I squeeze 'em with the tongs provided. But there are no tongs provided with fruits and veggies - and smell is important. People do give me dirty looks for sniffing the tomatos, but I pretty much feel entitled to tomatos with TASTE.