Have You Ever Returned Something to the Grocery Store?

A few weeks ago I bought a container of fresh, housemade mozzarella from my local gourmet grocery store. I was looking forward to using it in a recipe, but when I opened the plastic container, a fetid smell wafted up from the ball of cheese in its watery broth. The cheese was clearly rancid. I doublechecked the sell-by date — it was well in the future. What should I do, I wondered? On the one hand, the cheese was only three or four dollars, and the trouble of taking it back to the grocery store, especially that day, didn't seem worth it. On the other hand, shouldn't they know that it was bad?

Have you ever dealt with a situation like this? Have you ever accidentally bought something out of its sell-by date, or found that a can was bulging (and probably unsafe to eat)? Do you take things back to the grocery store if they are bad, or taste off somehow?

I resolved my situation by throwing out the cheese immediately (it was really stinky) but mentioning the situation to the cheesemonger at the grocery store. He immediately gave me a fresh container and a coupon for future fresh cheese purchases. Very gracious and responsive.

Have you ever had an experience like this? Or do you just toss bad purchases and chalk it up to a learning experience?

Related: The Best and Worst Supermarkets

(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)

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