Bargain City manager responds to previous letter

Dear Editor, As the manager of a local bargain store, I must respond to Cathy Jones’ letter printed in the March 11 issue of the Brady Standard-Herald. Her concern over destruction of food is unwarranted, and lends me to believe that she or one of her acquaintances may be part of the local group of people I call “dumpster diggers.” Per City of Brady laws, it is unlawful to “dig” through a dumpster after anything has been placed in it. In addition, anything thrown there would certainly be unsanitary. At my store we are bound by the Texas Department of Health (TDH) regulations per our license. After moving to Brady in December and taking over this store, I had a large task ahead of me in order to remedy certain issues with TDH. Per TDH recommendations and guidelines, any food that may be far past its expiration date, packed in with chemical products, packed with pet food or that shows any signs of current or previous infestation must be destroyed. The TDH specialist that I work with has suggested using bleach, ammonia or other similar chemicals to pour on the food or drugs destined for destruction to assure that such contaminated items are not made available to the public. To assume that anything thrown in the dumpster would be consumable is absurd. Anything that I purposely destroy is due to contamination. The contamination often comes from our suppliers, but there are occasional problems from within due to the condition and location of our building. As the new manager here, I want to insure that products that I sell on my shelves are free of contamination and are acceptable for sale to the general public per our TDH license. Although I donate to local charities such as Helping Hands, I am not about to give them food that could possibly be a health threat. Such items must be destroyed. I would also like to thank the public for bearing with me through the changes. I hope that I have made the store a better place for shopping, and that I offer a good service to the local community. Sincerely, MATTHEW R. HINMAN; Bargain City

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