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Help Me Hank: Rotting meat and other violations found at popular Hamtramck market


HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – The Help Me Hank consumer investigations team has been working on a report about violations at local grocery stores.

An email tip sent to Help Me Hank alerted Local 4 to issues at a Hamtramck market that allegedly sells expired food, which is often rotten.

When Local 4 entered Bozek Market, the first thing reporters noticed was several reduced priced items being sold past the sell-by date. The bigger concern was the color and texture of the meat that was available. Some were brown and had a foul odor.

State inspectors found these problems during previous inspections. 

"Expiration dates are there for a reason," said Local 4's Dr. Frank McGeorge. "Expired meat has a longer time for bacteria to grow and it's more likely that it's going to be contaminated."

Another alarming discovery: Open buckets were stocked with fish, with tongs for customers. The store insists this isn't a violation, but anyone could do anything to the open containers inside the store.

Previous inspection reports reveal issues with residue and dust, leaks in the deli and produce coolers, and open containers of kielbasa and kraut. Several reports cite employees not washing their hands properly, as evidenced by the lack of soap and towels. 

"We are really busy. This is our biggest season," said the store manager. 

While it's not illegal for stores to sell meat for a reduced price that is past its sell-by date, the concern here was the meat being sold was in bad shape and it's illegal to sell food past its use-by date.

Right now, we want to put this question in front of our ClickOnDetroit readers: If expired meat were being sold at a reduced price, would you buy it?

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Let us know why or why not in the comments section below.