Bradenton Walmart defends decision to throw food out after outage

  • 0

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A recent power outage at the Walmart store on State Road 64 near Interstate 75 resulted in management deciding to discard thousands of dollars worth of food--a move that has some local food organizations disappointed.

About $18,000 worth of refrigerated foods was deemed unsafe after the power outage, and was thrown in the trash.

But workers at the Salvation Army told the Bradenton Herald that they would rather have had the chance to sort through it before it was thrown out.

The state's Good Samaritan Donation Act protects those who donate food to charity, and places the burden on the charity to decide if it's safe to consume.

Cindy Sloan is the director of the Manatee Food Bank and tells ABC 7 that Walmart is a great community partner that donates a lot of food to the food bank, three times every week.  "We are picking up 8,500 pounds a month easily so they are donating an awful lot of good stuff to the food bank so that we can feed people," said Sloan.

Tuesday night, during a thunderstorm, lighting knocked out power to the Braden River Walmart and the store had to throw away the nearly $18,000 worth of food.

"Because of the lightning strike to our store and subsequent power loss, certain dairy and cold foods were discarded only because they were deemed unsafe because they did not keep the acceptable temperature for consumption," said Brian Nick, Walmart's Director of National Media Relations.  "Walmart takes food safety very seriously and will only provide food for our customers and the community that adheres to our strict safety standards."

Sloan says she is glad the Walmart decided to toss the food they deemed unsafe. "If you feed somebody something and then they get sick, you have done no good for that person. I'm sure that everyone at Walmart would have preferred to donate [the food] but if the time and temperature was not in the safe zone they would have had to dispose of it and they would have made the right decision."