Be Afraid: Wal-Mart Named Meat and Deli Retailer of the Year

Be afraid. Be very afraid. The trade journal Meat and Deli Retailer has named Wal-Mart Meat and Deli Retailer of the Year!:
Wal-Mart’s success has impacted the way merchants in almost every retail category market their products and services, and that includes the operators of supermarket meat and deli departments. The company was a catalyst in the rapid embrace of case-ready meats by grocers across the U.S. by offering prepackaged products instead of store-cut items in more than 2,000 Wal-Mart Supercenter and Neighborhood Market stores.
So let's talk about case-ready meat. I've already explained its relationship to Wal-Mart's anti-union efforts, but what IS case-ready meat exactly? The journal Beef explains:
Case-ready technology eliminates the need for in-store processing. Meat is packaged in rigid foam or plastic box-shaped containers at a packing plant or processor. The retail product is sealed in a highly oxygenated mix of gases injected into the container. Before the package is placed in the sales case, the outer, non-permeable layer of film is removed, leaving a gas-permeable layer of film beneath, allowing the meat to “breathe” and “bloom,” and assume the colors associated with fresh meat. [emphasis added]
But unspecified gases are not the only thing in Wal-Mart's meat. This is from a 2003 interview with Bruce Peterson, the Wal-Mart executive who overseas beef purchases and is part of the same Beef article as above:
BEEF: A great deal of your fresh beef products are “enhanced” with a water-based solution. What drives the decision to merchandise beef this way? Peterson: I think the whole idea of solutions, or “pumped” product, is going to revolutionize the meat industry over time. The solution process will ultimately be one of providing a flavor profile. This is no different in meat than in other foods. “Cooking” at home is becoming a lost art — much by choice — therefore the consumer is expecting to buy a piece of meat that has a particular flavor profile, stick it in the oven for 15-20 minutes and yet have something they remember eating when they were growing up. Food additives, whether in solutions or otherwise, are becoming part of our food experience. The fresh beef area is one of the last great food bastions that have been generally untampered.
Mmmmmmmm.......water-based solution. Don't you love it when you buy beef by the pound and are paying for the weight of added water? Still, Wal-Mart insists that its meat is fresh. Peterson told Meat and Deli Retailer:
[T]he freshness of Wal-Mart’s case-ready products is comparable to that of meat that is cut by store butchers. Shipments, he notes, often are delivered to locations from distribution centers within a few hours of being ordered.
Your definition of "fresh" probably depends upon more than just the color, but if you shop at Wal-Mart you can't be choosy; can you? As appetizing as this subject is, my favorite part of the article has gotta be Peterson's explanation why the company's decision getting rid of meat cutters from their stores is actually a good thing:
He adds that by not having to cut meat, Wal-Mart associates and the meat department’s backroom have a cleaner appearance. “Associates are not covered with blood like they just had open-heart surgery,” he notes.
Exactly, nobody wants to be reminded that something died in order to give you dinner. Wal-Mart is Meat and Deli Retailer of the Year because they're leading the way in making the meat production system disappear from public view. When it's gone completely, Wal-Mart can do anything it wants to its meat and its customers will never know.

120 Responses to “Be Afraid: Wal-Mart Named Meat and Deli Retailer of the Year”

  1. Probably more than you wanted to know about the meat industry:

    The principal gasses seem to be Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen. Neither is harmful to the food or to humans and helps prevent spoilage. While it is true that the industry does things to improve the appearance of packaged meat the really worrisome issues have to do with prepared, frozen foods. Do you really know what is in that burrito or frozen entree?

    I find my trips to the supermarket involve visits to smaller and smaller regions of the store: fresh vegetables and fruits, bread and diary and the meat/fish counter. The only exceptions are canned soups and sliced turkey. These departments take up about 20% of the floor space.

  2. […] I have written previously about problems with case-ready meat. Now it looks like it is even worse than I imagined. As the AP explains, some meat producers are using carbon monoxide inside the cellophane: The meat industry defends the use of carbon monoxide to help meat retain its pink hue, saying large sums of money are wasted when sellers throw away meat that is still safe to eat but is not as attractive because it is slightly brown. […]

  3. Jay Siers says:

    Sure wish you would get your faacts straight before you start publishing this garbage. Wal-Mart is not “peeling off the top layer of film” for starters.

    Next time you attempt to scare everyone away from something, do your homework first.

  4. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Jay,

    First, thank you for stopping by, for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s all about the conversation.

    Which facts, precisely, do you have a problem with? Peeling off the non-permeaable layer to allow the meat to breathe and bloom seems pretty straight forward.

    What is your understanding of the process?


    Jeff Hess

  5. […] This is a quotation I’ve used before, but I think it bears repeating. It’s from a 2003 interview with Bruce Peterson, the Wal-Mart executive in charge of meat purchases: [B]y not having to cut meat, Wal-Mart associates and the meat department’s backroom have a cleaner appearance. “Associates are not covered with blood like they just had open-heart surgery,” he notes. […]

  6. Andrew says:

    Have you guys noticed the slimy look of walmart meat? Did you know that consumer reports found and reported in 2006 (April/May) that gas-filled packages can make meat look fresh that can in some cases be rancid?

    Have you purchased and cooked a steak from Walmart? The meat is grey in color and tastes like a $5.00 Gyro at a country fair. Sorry, that’s NOT comparable to a butcher shop.

    Walmart is adding chemicals to our food under the guise that WE want it. I think they are doing it because it makes the meat addictive and more tasteful than natural raw meats so they will sell more. I think it’s all about the money. I think they worked out a deal with the meat packager to get the meats processed and delivered so that their meat could be reliable and taste the same each time. Again, like McDonalds with their foods, doing it for profit, not for the consumer.

    Eh, screw it, Walmart will do what Walmart will do…

  7. rick dixon says:

    I looked for something like to this to educate myself on Walmarts meats.I grilled 2 strip steaks last night. The packages were tight with the gases in them. The steaks looked great but tasted like they had been pickled. they had the same texture and taste as the ribeyes I bat from there a few days back. there is definitely something going on here. I will go back to my local smaller market and pay a higher price to get steaks that taste like steak. They may be a little tougher, but they will have that beef tase. I also look for the ones that are turning slightly brown. Aging is great for beef. The Walmart steaks are somewhat slimey too. I have noticed that they are easier to overcook as well and this only magnifies the pickled taste.

  8. […] I’ve been following the story of meat at Wal-Mart for some time now. Let’s review: In order to prevent their meatcutters from joining a union, Wal-Mart fired all their butchers and only stocks case-ready meat. That means it is slaughtered off site and shipped to the stores directly in cellophane packages. In February, a New York Times feature explained that many meat producers were injecting carbon dioxide under the cellophane so that the meat would look fresher longer. Carbon monoxide (CO) isn’t a problem by itself. It’s not like somebody is going to try to breathe the atmosphere inside a meat tray. The problem is that customers would buy and maybe consume spoiled meat because it would appear fresh (even when it’s not). […]

  9. […] Let’s look at one product at Wal-Mart that I’ve covered extensively before: Meat. At Wal-Mart there are no butchers (a few of them at a store in Texas decided they wanted a union once, so Wal-Mart canned them all nationwide). Therefore, all you can buy there is case-ready meat, which means you have no idea what the quality is before you take it home. Unlike Burger King, special orders do upset them so at Wal-Mart you have to take what you can get. If it smells funny when you open it, you’re out of luck. Don’t working-class customers deserve the services of a meat cutter? Not at Wal-Mart, they don’t. […]

  10. […] But you can’t do that at Wal-Mart as they fired all the butchers. It seemed a few in Texas had this shocking idea that joining a union might be a good idea so Bentonville demoted all of them across the country. All the meat at Wal-Mart across the country is case-ready. That means you have no choice. […]

  11. angie joseph says:

    Sadly, everyone who has commented sound like they’ve thrown in the towel with Wal-Mart’s policies–but then what CAN you do except not shop there

  12. Kevin Cotant says:

    I bought some ribeyes from walmart tonight, I wanted to toss them out as soon as I cut into the meat and saw the rotten grey color. My wife insisted that she try a bite before we threw the money away, and she replied and I quote “my God this is the worst ribeye I’ve ever had.” We will not buy meat at walmart anymore, a few weeks ago we purchased hamburger and were confused about why no matter how much we poked at it, the little ground bits never lost their shape….Lord help us, if Walmart runs our local stores out of town, we’ll have to become vegetarians!!

  13. m copenhaver says:

    I agree. We just ate pork chops that had a “wang” to them. The date on there is 3 days later than today. Boy did they taste ROTTEN. I purchased some Ribeyes 2 weeks ago and had the same problem. (gray steaks that were tough and tasted horrible) I’m going back to the GROCERY STORE from now own. FORGET THE CONVENIENCE. I’d rather pay more and get good quality meat!

  14. […] In the end though, I’m no longer surprised by stuff like this. Remember the Nazi t-shirts that still aren’t off the shelves (as of last week)? Besides, how can Wal-Mart control what gasses their suppliers use when they’ve outsourced the cutting process to those suppliers at the same time they regularly shake them down for ever-lower prices. […]

  15. John Daniels says:

    Recently I was in Wal-Mart picking up some household supplies and thought to myself hey I can save some time and a stop if I purchase my meat from here instead of running across the street to Farm Fresh. Big mistake. The Porterhouse I bought looked great, so fresh and red looking (the price was comparable to the grocery store at $78.98 per lb). I cooked in an All-Clad searing pan and it looked ok, didn’t sear well, but when I tasted my first bite of the tenderloin I was so taken aback. It tasted like it had been highly salted. Parts of the steak were undercooked and other parts were rubbery. I can cook a steak so I couldn’t understand what was wrong and why it was so salty and rubbery. well the next day I baked the Wal-mart chicken breasts I had bought with the steak and guess what – salty and rubbery. I guess it is the saline injection. They were slimy too. Never again for me..

  16. Wally Lemis says:

    I began buying groceries at Wal-Mart a few months ago. I in no way consider myself a chef and I am not picky about food preparation or, truthfully, the results. But over these past few months, I too have noticed the rubbery meat. It really jumped out at me when I prepared pork chops one night. I invariably overcook pork chops and they come out dry. These were so rubbery that even I noticed the strange texture. Since that time I have found all their raw meat products have the same problem (with the exception of ground meat, I suppose).

    On a whim, I googled “Wal-Mart meat rubbery” and found quite a number of hits, so I now know it isn’t just my imagination. I will probably still shop at Wal-Mart for pre-packaged goods due to the low prices and large selection, but I will buy my meat elsewhere. I can only recommend Wal-Mart meat to someone wishing to become a vegetarian; their meat will push you over the line.

    Thanks to everyone on this site (and the others) who described their experiences. The more informed we consumers are, the better.

  17. Sam Morgan says:

    First – I LOVE WAL-MART. BUT, their steaks are BAD. We have been buying steaks at Wal-mart and I always say ” These steaks do not taste right”. They are slimy, taste strange, cut funny, have a strange grain to them. I just decided to search Wal-mart – steaks to see what would happen. I am buying my meat at the local butcher from here on out. Kind of scary!

  18. Page Lee says:

    Tonight, after attempting to eat my first Wal-mart steak and finding the texture almost gelatinous, and not understanding how I could have oversalted it so badly, I pulled the package out of the garbage and read the “ingredients”. First of all, who ever heard of “ingredients” in a steak!! Beef, water, SALT and various preservatives! I feel totally ripped off. Like my fellow posters, I googled Wal-mart steaks and here I am. Had the steaks been cheap I could have been comforted by the knowledge that I got what I paid for. But they were actually a few cents more per lb than the same cut at Albertsons. Never again…

  19. […] There are a few posts on this blog that pick up a lot of comments by people Googling for the subject matter long after we wrote them. This one is my favorite. Let’s see if I can do it again. […]

  20. […] OK, so Ohio dodged the bullet. Not that — after reading Jonathan’s post after post after post on Wal-Mart and meat — I’d ever buy any food from Wal-Mart. […]

  21. […] OK, so Ohio dodged the bullet. Not that — after reading Jonathan’s post after post after post on Wal-Mart and meat — I’d ever buy any food from Wal-Mart. […]

  22. kselfri says:

    I religiously grill steak every Sunday. I’ve tried Wal-Mart steaks on occasion, thinking “mmm.. these are cheap, I’m already here at Wal-mart anyway…” and evertime they’re terrible. Every time they end up totally gray in the middle when they should be pink. They also taste and smell strange. Once, the next morning after eating Wal-mart steak, I literally spent 30 grueling minutes on the toilet as my body rejected the bad meat. Not sure if that constitutes actual food poisoning. After that, never again did I experiment w/ Wal-mart beef. I have not had any problems with any of their other meats (chicken, pork, ground beef).

  23. Cynthia says:

    We too have had these “sirloin” steaks at home and after grilling them refer to them as “buffolo” meat possibly. I have given WalMart several chances in the meat department and now we will NEVER buy meat from them again.
    It is scary to think they can displease such a large amount of consumers with their meats and still keep selling the heck out of it.
    My family is too important to feed this crap to them. We aren’t even sure its real “meat”
    I will go to the Real Beef People called Winn Dixie from now on!
    There must be some truth to their advertising!

  24. netha nelson says:

    i have also try walmarts meats and we dont buy any from there any more it dont even taste like meat dont waste your money

  25. […] What Wal-Mart customers really need are a comment function for products they don’t sell on the web like produce and, of course, meat. I know I’ve said it before, but my favorite post I’ve ever done for this blog is this one. Read the comments. People buy Wal-Mart meat without understanding exactly why it’s so cheap. Think how useful comments on Wal-Mart meat would be. Think how many people would be spared indigestion! […]

  26. eric seiler says:

    Seems unanimous. Walmart steaks are “wrong”. Probably cut from the cows that get mutilated by aliens.

    Or, more likely, its the same “favor enhancement’ tech they use to make their chicken funky also. Adds weight, increases shelf life, and gives the meat a wonderful spam-like quality. Utterly bad. Spread the word.

  27. Fran Drake says:

    While I am opposed to Walmart’s harsh antiunion policies & activities, until recently I knew nothing of the controversy over Walmart meats and meat processing. [Admittedly, I need to conduct much more research.]
    Recently while at my home in Venice, FL, I stocked-up via a one-stop shopping visit to a Walmart Superstore [Nokomis, FL.] including purchases of meat products [ground beef, rib eye steaks, & sirloin]. As a true beef-lover, I’d never thought it possible to have a “bad” sirloin steak. Yikes! Walmart proved me wrong. While all the meat was a great “red” meat color, virtually all of it [over $25 worth], possessed the texture of combined jerky/spam (tough & fibrous), was vile-tasting and had a most repulsive texture. “Disappointment ” is a descriptive understatement for my feelings.
    After a few bites, my husband and I discarded the meat from each meal that I prepared, including the “lovely” tasteless, sirloin. Even the hamburgers were inedible.
    Previous postings on this site refer to serious concerns for the future of small communities where Walmart is undercutting most local commercial establishments ranging from grocery stores to floral shops to pharmacies. Walmart seems intent upon methods designed to cut costs——and undercut competition. These include, but are not limited to: nonunion policies, local governmental lobbying, part-time hiring to avoid benefits, outsourcing meat production to perhaps avoid inspection issues, etc. Once the undercut competitors are forced to close up their businesses, the end result may well be the elimination of “choices” for the consumer. The prices may be somewhat lower—–but also lower are the quality, selection variety, and (one must wonder?) safety for the consumer.
    Walmart runs against the American capitalist vision held by Hamilton and Adams in 1776. Since capitalism necessitates a foundation of freedom of choice and open competition, Walmart’s “bigness” and methods (and perhaps its intent?) resemble those of the “Robber Barons” in the 1880s-1920s.
    Bottom line? There is only one truly effective way to respond to my Walmart problems: refuse to support its “bottomline”. I WILL NOT ANY LONGER BE A WALMART CUSTOMER and I will seriously recommend that others consider adopting this same stance.
    Additionally, when given the opportunity, I will politically and verbally oppose any proposed Walmart expansion in or near my community.

  28. Chris Witz says:

    We where planning to stockup and went to our local Sam’s club . We bought cheddarwurst which was vaccum packed and by the next day they where MOLDY. I never ever seen that so I returned the meat and asked the customer service rep would she eat that. She told me I could get another package and I said NO. Just give me my money back and I informed her never again as this was the first time buying meat from SAM’s. I guess we will stockup from Roundy’s

  29. Kurt Jarrett says:

    HOOO…if only you guys knew…First I work for Walmart and was once one of the butchers and even I’m not sure what it is they do to the meat. One example is the ground beef…fresh grind gets a maximum 4 day shelf life…most butchers only give 2 days…Wally’s grind comes in with 13 days on it…yep 9 days longer than any other butcher would give. They(the big wigs in Bentonville) have been told that the saline injected meat causes or increases hypertension…I wonder if they care? Soon the meat will be coming in large bags so we can wrap and label it at store level…they think this will trick our customers into thinking we are cutting fresh meat again…same rotten slimey meat…shiny new wrappings. I buy my meat at the local butcher shop.

  30. You guys talking about walmart’s meat and what all they put in it. Heres a questin for you. What grade of meat is it? Are people paying CHOICE grade prices for SELECT grade .I can not find the grade of beef they sell.

  31. Haley Slaughter says:

    Our Winn Dixie was blown away in a tordado in March so we have had to either shop at our local Harvey’s(which is not very clean and has a poor selection) or Wal-Mart. We tried to stick to Harvey’s because we despise Wal-Mart. However, I cook a lot and need lots of different ingredients so we usually had to make a pit-stop at Wal-Mart anyways. We love steak and there came a day when Harvey’s did’nt have any ribeyes. We went with Wal-Mart steaks for the first time ever. They looked slimy and pink like pork. Not beef. I like my steak med rare. Lance likes his med. When he took it off the grill I said wow it’s like med well. He said no it’s not. The SOB’s had no blood in them. 5 min. on each side and no blood. It ate like a salty and juicy pork chop. Worst shit I’ver ever had in my life. Wal-Mart steak sucks! It was like that compressed prosessed beef you get at nursing homes, albeit a little bit jucier. Anyway, I have a restraining order out against Wal-Mart Steaks.

  32. […] I hate to beat a dead horse here, but there’s a reason this keeps happening at Wal-Mart and it’s why the meat at Wal-Mart is bloated with gas. […]

  33. Al in Florida says:

    Our Walmart just started carrying a “new” steak called “Steakhouse Brand”. The packaging is different than what they use to have. Before it was a hard plastic box sealed air tight. Now the packaging is more like the old Styrofoam tray with plastic wrap over the meat. Not an air-tight bubble box like before. The Styrofoam tray is black instead of white. Well, I bought a package of three ribeyes for $25. I cooked the first one the other night. I marinated it just like I always do. Well, when the steak came off the grill and we started to eat it, my partner said the steak was really salty. Since I had not done anything different I went and dug the steak wrapper out of the trash and there on the list of ingredients was 20% water-based solution!! The sodium content was 480 mg per 4oz. serving. WHAT THE HELL!! No wonder the steak tasted so salty. I had added too much salt to an already salty steak by marinating it. I have learned my lesson. I have always eaten Walmart meat and it has been pretty good, but with the water-based solution now added to their new line of steaks I am going back to Publix for my ribeyes.

  34. […] the people who make case-ready meat (the only kind of meat you can buy at Wal-Mart) are feeling the heat from critics who think that if you gas meat with carbon monoxide, it should […]

  35. anonymous says:

    The first time I shopped at Wal-Mart for beef, I thought the overly reddish tint on the meat were unnaturally looking. The meat didn’t taste like beef at all.

    I made the mistake of buying meat there a second time, because I thought if I would just take the time to pick the right meat, it would be fine.
    Big mistake! I WILL NEVER BUY ANY TYPE OF MEAT FROM WAL-MART AGAIN! I am so ticked off and I feel like I’ve just been ripped off!
    The meat is VERY SALTY! It doesn’t taste right at all, so how could this be healthful at all? This is my opinion.

  36. Food Poisoned says:

    Well I just had a major arguement with my wife…I thought she was trying to kill me with the steaks she cooked. I took a few bites and I thought I was eating solidified sea water…the salt was unbearable! After spitting out the bite I had in my mouth and downing a 16oz glass of water I searched Google and found this site. I was so freaking mad after reading what Walmart does to their meat, I immediately dug through the trash, retrieved the “Steak House” packaging and drove to Walmart. I got an immediate refund and a store clerk who whispered “I wouldn’t eat the meat here if they paid me.” It we all demanded refunds and voted with our money, Walmart may stop selling us this poison they call food.

  37. Grillmaster Ed says:

    I have been doing the Steak House brand promotional program for Wal-Mart this year and find the steaks acceptable. As in anything new, there has been some problems to overcome. There has been some steaks that contain a saltier taste than others. That is why I recommend not adding salt if any till after the cooking process. Pepper prior to cooking or other seasoning but never salt, as salt has a tendency to pull the moisture out of the product including vegetables causing them to become dry and tough. Salt is used in cooking to open up the pores of your tongue to make it a more enjoyable food tasting experience.
    Most of the customers enjoy their Steak House brand beef when cooked properly and continue to purchase more. It is a much better fresh tasting beef product.

  38. […] you want to know more about why the meat at Wal-Mart is so bad, try here, here and here. This one is a bit political (It’s on Daily Kos, after all), so you may want […]

  39. Schaden Freude says:

    Not EVER having purchased meat from WalMart,this is verification of what an out of state family member said a couple of years ago about his experience with WalMart meat-gray,shrunken,tasteless and salty. Recently, there were extensive hearings on Capitol Hill about “gassing” meat with carbon dioxide to impart unnaturural color,far past expiration date on the package-up to 11/2 years,after the expiration date. You don’t know it’s bad till you unseal the package!Now,what’s to stop any seller from making new stickers to create a new “sell by” date and place it over the older” sell by” date.?Also,MSM is a salt with addictive qualities,plus it adds weight by holding water-hence,more profit on per pound purchases. C-Span covered the hearings,incidentally.

  40. Pam says:

    I’m not crazy! Like many before me, I googled “walmart meat rubbery” and landed here. Sheesh … I thought my cooking skills were going down the toilet until I realized it was the meat I occasionally bought from WalMart, not my cooking skills. The meat is rubbery, salty and tastes rotten .. sort of like “chopped and pressed”. DISGUSTING. The chicken is awful, too., and has that same rubbery texture. I am upset that WalMart tries to shove this putrid crap on the unwary consumer. NO MORE. I will never buy any meat from there again. EVER. Folks, this is a good case for eating organic and supporting local farmers …

  41. Jennifer says:

    I usually don’t purchase beef from Walmart due to the look of the meat. However, I decided to purchase some beef stew meat that looked good. I have heard many complaints about Walmarts beef, but figured…. it’s in the stew. How bad can it be?

    After making a whole pot of stew for my family, we sat down to eat dinner. The meat had this very bitter taste. It wasn’t noticeable until after you swallowed. Once it hit the back of the tongue, IT WAS NOTICEABLE. At first, I thought it was me. After a few more bites, I asked my family if the meat tasted strange to them. They all replied that it had a weird taste.

    I called Walmart immediately to complain. I was told they would look into it. They agreed to reimburse me for the cost of the meal and issued a $20 gift card that was waiting for me next time I shopped at Walmart.

    About 15 minutes after complaining to Walmart. I didn’t feel sick, but lightheaded and felt a headache coming. My daugher felt the same way. This is not good as we both get massive migraines. This lasted in both of us for about 4 hours.

    A couple days later, I went to a doctors appointment I had previously scheduled. I mentioned the way I felt for a few hours after eating the stewmeat from Walmart. My doctor said that shouldn’t bother it and didn’t sound like food poisoning. She took some blood. I received the results last week. My dr told me I had unusually high potassium level, which she was concerned about since I had not eaten anthing in over 12 hours. She took more blood work to do more tests. My blood work came back with normal Potassium levels and no problems. This was almost 2 weeks later from the day I ate the injected beef.

    I didn’t think anything of it until I was looking at the ingredients in Walmarts solutions. Walmarts solutions contain 2 or 3 different types of potassium compounds.

    There is no proof that this was the cause. However, my daughter and I received the same symptoms shortly after eating the injected beef. If I could prove this to walmart, I’d have there meats pulled from the market until this injection was not allowed.

  42. Jennifer says:

    One more comment. I was writing the last message quickly and didn’t check that I had misspelled a few words, such as, ‘there’ instead of ‘their’, etc. Anyway, I was reading a couple other comments. I noticed that others had mentioned that Walmarts solutions cause hypertension…. Excessive amounts of Potassium can increase the blood pressure causing hypertension and palpitations. I have no doubt that Walmarts solutions are overloaded with salt and potassium. We get plenty in our fresh fruits and vegetables. We don’t need walmart adding to our daily diets without our permission.

  43. Henry Thompson says:

    I have to respond to “Grillmaster Ed”. Your obsurd comment gave me a good laugh. What “problems are there to overcome”? It’s beef – you cut it off the cow and you sell it. Unless you do something highly unusual to the cow or the way the beef is prepared or packaged – what on earth could possibly go wrong. So wrong that the ribeye was like cutting into Spam? I feel like I bought really expensive Spam. The “Steak House” promotion is as big a joke as the meat. Very disappointed and vow to never purchase meat from Walmart ever again – no matter what they call it or how pretty the package.

  44. Starke, FL says:

    I bought a ribeye from Wal-Mart a year ago when they only had the air tight case ready meat available. It’s just like everyone else here described…rubbery, gray, strange grain, and just didn’t taste like beef. I called the local Wal-Mart(Tallahassee, FL) and was told to bring it back in for a full refund. I asked if anyone else complained about their meats and was told they don’t get very many complaints. Do people have tastebuds anymore?

    Anyways, when we moved to Perry, FL, Wal-Mart started carrying a new type of Steakhouse brand, which we tried and it was ok. We’ve now moved to Gainesville, FL and travel to the Wal-Mart in Starke. We picked up a ribeye (Steakhouse brand I think…not the air tight case ready stuff), and again it tasted like salty rubber.


  45. S. Altman says:

    We bought 2 packs of back ribs and some chicken from WalMart. As soon as we opened the package we knew the meats were bad. Stinking to high heaven! My husband is on his way right now to return the ribs we bought this morning. When you return the meats, the person taking the returns does not even apologize – just wants to know if we want more meat. NO! is our answer.

  46. A. S. Midthune says:

    I was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. I thought it was my cooking at first, then I figured that WalMart had gotten a bad batch of steaks from cows that grazed on juniper berries or something (their steaks have an almost pine-like flavor to me). I finally googled “Walmart steaks taste bad” and landed here.

    No wonder my kids don’t like any of the meat I serve them.

    “Dad, these baked drumsticks taste just like the fried drumsticks you fixed last week. I don’t really like them.”

    “I hate pork chops! I can still taste them.”

    Never again.

    Die Walmart, die! You soulless, bean-counting scum-suckers.

  47. Philip says:

    I had my last steak from Walmart tonight. In the past 6 months, I have purchased numeous steaks from Walmart and every one ended as a rubbery, salty mess. At first I thought my marinades had negative results, then I thought the grill was gone. Finally I picked up a steak at a local market and realized, it’s NOT my marinade, my grill or my cooking skills – IT’S CRAPPY MEAT FROM WALMART. I will not give them another dollar for whatever oppossum cut they are labeling as steak. 90% of their products come from CHINA, so the psudo-steak probably does too. Support your local markets and economy.

  48. Linda says:

    Hey, I just Googled to read anything about WalMart meats and lo and behold! I find just as many people are outraged and disappointed as I am! I’ve been buying meats from WalMart since our finances took a tumble, and this past weekend, I cooked a steak on the grill but noticed for the first time it was so salty, I couldn’t stand it. I never put salt on meat when I cook it, and we’ve gone low-sodium now for a while due to blood pressure issues. So I really tasted the salt this time. I looked at the wrapper (from the trash) and there it was – high sodium and “stuff” and not just steak meat! I am outraged to pay for something like that, not to mention the times I bought meat that was already spoiled. No more, WalMart. Clothes, electronics, flowers – OK… Meats – NEVER AGAIN!

  49. shawn says:

    I’m also a victim of the HORRIBLE WalMart meat. I bought a pack of ribeyes. They were so disgusting- salty and some sort of flavoring- that we could not eat them. Threw $20 worth of steaks in the garbage. Makes you want to gag.
    Unfortunately I thought it was a fluke and tried more- same result.

    I’m very disappointed in WalMart. In most things I’m a fan. But the meat is just horrible.

  50. kevin says:

    We purchased what looked like 2pounds of healthy looking red hamburger meat from walmart, and while i was frying it the meat gave off a very strong amonia oder , so strong it was overpowering , needless to say that is the last time i buy meat from walmart.

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