As a military brat and a military wife, our family has always done major shopping at commissaries, whenever possible. I'm living two hours from the nearest commissary now, so my choices are the local Food Lion store (10 miles away) or a Walmart store (45 miles away). I buy in bulk for obvious reasons. I've mostly always purchased Gwaltney bacon when it was available, and I've had NO problems with what I got at the two commercial stores. Brand loyalty.
Before the holidays I made a trip to Seymour Johnson AFB for a 'big' shopping, and I decided to buy a case of bacon ($2.50 vs $4.95) because the savings on that alone would pay for my gas to drive a 4-hour round trip.
Mistake. HUGE mistake. I bought the 16 oz. hardwood smoked, premium sliced bacon that comes in a box like the picture below.
I'm down to my last 5-6 pounds of bacon, and every time I open a new box, I get angrier and angrier. I have YET to find a single pound of 'premium' bacon with the slices of uniform thickness or with pieces that are WHOLE so that you can pull them apart. Most of the slices are made up of 4-5 segments - impossible to cook... and this morning was the straw that broke this camel's back. I opened a new package, used the ENTIRE PACK to get SIX uniform slices for breakfast. The rest I threw in the garbage, and the balance of the case will go to the local soup kitchen tomorrow.
Now..... having said this.... I NEVER HAD THIS PROBLEM EXCEPT WITH THE CASE I GOT AT THE COMMISSARY - and it wasn't one or two packages! IT WAS EVERY SINGLE POUND I'VE OPENED.
I have come to the conclusion, based on my own empirical evidence that the problem is not quality control but that the Gwaltney company is dumping their bacon rejects to fill their contractual obligations with the military. No other explanation I can think of, since Food Lion and Walmart seem to get 'premium' bacon.
I have also written of this to my Congressional Rep. Walter B. Jones, since he is on the Committee on Armed Services: Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, and Subcommittee on Oversights and Investigations.
Frankly I'm tired of the United States military and their families being screwed from every direction! This is my little attempt to fight back!
I will also never purchase another thing with the word 'Gwaltney' on it.
5/8/14 - UPDATE: Below is a picture of a pack of Gwaltney bacon that missed going to the soup kitchen because it was in the bottom of the freezer - so I decided to check it out just in case it WAS a good pound of bacon.... I wasn't disappointed nor was my rant here proved wrong.
This is the factory sealed bacon - UNOPENED. Note the four partial pieces of bacon at the bottom edge of the package. This was NOT visible through the little window where you see a representative slice of bacon. Of course it wasn't!
Below is the inspection stamp on the plastic wrapper. In my opinion, Inspector 5689 should be fired.
I went to the commissary this week.... bought a CASE of Oscar Mayer thick sliced bacon.... will be interesting to see if THIS brand also looks like factory seconds.