'It looked disgusting': Toronto man complains of 'unsanitary' meat storage at Real Canadian Superstore

Michael Pearl says he got a disturbing sneak peek behind the deli counter on Oct. 5. “It just seemed like it was a very unsanitary way of storing meat,” Pearl said.

Michael Pearl filed complaint with Board of Health after seeing unwrapped raw meat in a shopping cart

Michael Pearl snapped this picture on his phone when he saw raw meat being stored in a shopping cart behind the counter at the Real Canadian Superstore near Steeles Avenue West and Dufferin Street. (Michael Pearl)

Michael Pearl says he goes grocery shopping every Sunday at the Real Canadian Superstore near Dufferin Street and Steeles Avenue West.

But on Oct 5, he says he got a disturbing sneak peek behind the deli counter.

"It just seemed like it was a very unsanitary way of storing meat," Pearl told CBC Toronto.

Pearl was planning on purchasing some steaks but changed his mind when he saw a pile of raw meat in a shopping cart behind the counter.

"Fifty or 60 steaks in there, sitting in the cart without any wrapping that I had seen," he said. "It just seemed very, you know, very unhygienic and it looked disgusting, to be honest with you."

Pearl says he took out his phone and snapped a picture, which he brought to a woman he says claimed to be the store manager.  

"I showed her the picture. She seemed aghast at it all," Pearl said.

In addition to that, Pearl says he sent the photo to the Toronto Board of Health, and filed a complaint with them.  

"They got back to me and said they were going to be looking into it."

This 'absolutely should not have happened,' Loblaw official says

Loblaw Companies director of public relations Karen Gumbs also saw the picture and gave a statement to CBC Toronto, saying this "absolutely should not have happened" because it does not follow the company's food safety procedures.

"The store immediately addressed this with the colleague," Gumbs said. "We've reminded all departments of our protocols to ensure nothing like this happens again."

That was exactly the outcome Pearl was hoping for.

"That's good," he said. "Hopefully, they follow through on it."

Pearl says he will continue to shop at the Real Canadian Superstore because it's close and convenient.

When asked if he plans to buy meat from the deli counter again he simply said, "Yeah, why not?"