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Costco Wagyu Filets

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Old 06-13-2018, 06:14 PM
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Default Costco Wagyu Filets

I guess I'll post this here, but highly unimpressed with their packaging on the 8 x 4oz A5 Filet Mignon. Ordered these Sunday, online, and they showed up this evening around 7:30 or so. Have been on phone with Costco since trying to get this situation rectified. Product is flashfrozen for shipping and is supposed to arrive frozen or partially frozen, which I was expecting. Well, they showed up fully thawed and not very cold. Apparently, the vendor uses regular freezer packs similar to what you'd send your child to school with to keep his crustless sandwich chilled until lunchtime. The really awesome thing about this is they do include a clear plastic bag warning you of the dangers of touching this magical "dry" ice and that within 24 hours of setting it out, it should all be evaporated.

Costco is supposed to be calling the vendor tomorrow to see about overnighting another order, but they say they only ship on Monday and Wednesday and couldn't get a hold of vendor this late in day. Hopefully, Costco will do right (these steaks were ordered for Father's Day and first time I've ever ordered).

Am I over reacting? Plan was to cook 4 and keep 4 frozen to eat later. Pics below



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Old 06-14-2018, 07:19 AM
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That looks like an Omaha Steaks box.

This kind of shipping is quite standard for frozen perishables, because the limit on dry ice for air courier is 2.2kg/package without a whole bunch of hazmat hoops to jump through and declarations for each package that make it impractical for volume shipments, and almost all shippers route their overnight shipments via their air service vs ground due to different logistics all the way down to the driver. So the shipper is stuck complying with the 2.2kg limit.

The theory with the gel packs is that the dry ice will keep them frozen for a period, and once it has evaporated (since it's a gas) the gel packs will continue to provide cooling. But as you see, they're not super effective at that and are much more subject to ambient temperature where dry ice is all about gas vapor escaping.

The best solution as a frozen-perishables shipper is to intelligently route your packages with transit time information. For example, the system I built hits almost 95% of the country from 2 locations via 3-day ground.

Then, we found better boxes that are not only thicker styro, but more dense (smaller pellets) wrap the insides of it with plastic, wrap the dry ice in paper, and seal the styro where the lid connects with tape. We also would shrink-wrap the entire styro in plastic occasionally, and lastly displace the insides of the box with fill to reduce air volume . What this does is creates an environment where there is resistance to gas escaping which in turn slows the "melt" of the dry ice because it has to work harder to escape. In some of our tests I would be able to keep internal temps below 32 for up to 5 days allowing delivery via ground service at significant (85% or more) cost savings compared to air.

The other mistake they made is that dry ice bag is not in the same container as the steaks and gel pack. They do this to eliminate it burning the product, but there's ways to avoid that.

Anyway, in case you feel like telling them everything they did wrong, here you go.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:25 AM
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4oz? You're cooking 4, whats everyone else going to eat?
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
That looks like an Omaha Steaks box.

This kind of shipping is quite standard for frozen perishables, because the limit on dry ice for air courier is 2.2kg/package without a whole bunch of hazmat hoops to jump through and declarations for each package that make it impractical for volume shipments, and almost all shippers route their overnight shipments via their air service vs ground due to different logistics all the way down to the driver. So the shipper is stuck complying with the 2.2kg limit.

The theory with the gel packs is that the dry ice will keep them frozen for a period, and once it has evaporated (since it's a gas) the gel packs will continue to provide cooling. But as you see, they're not super effective at that and are much more subject to ambient temperature where dry ice is all about gas vapor escaping.

The best solution as a frozen-perishables shipper is to intelligently route your packages with transit time information. For example, the system I built hits almost 95% of the country from 2 locations via 3-day ground.

Then, we found better boxes that are not only thicker styro, but more dense (smaller pellets) wrap the insides of it with plastic, wrap the dry ice in paper, and seal the styro where the lid connects with tape. We also would shrink-wrap the entire styro in plastic occasionally, and lastly displace the insides of the box with fill to reduce air volume . What this does is creates an environment where there is resistance to gas escaping which in turn slows the "melt" of the dry ice because it has to work harder to escape. In some of our tests I would be able to keep internal temps below 32 for up to 5 days allowing delivery via ground service at significant (85% or more) cost savings compared to air.

The other mistake they made is that dry ice bag is not in the same container as the steaks and gel pack. They do this to eliminate it burning the product, but there's ways to avoid that.

Anyway, in case you feel like telling them everything they did wrong, here you go.
Sounds reasonable...we were on the phone telling Costco that their vendor has a shipping issue. They definitely could have packaged better from my eyes and I'm not even in the business. Every other piece of meat I've bought (have bought Omaha before) and what my buddy has ordered has arrived rock solid. Maybe I was expecting too much, but thought Costco would have ensured better service. Every other wagyu shop online specifies that products similar to this would come frozen. I wouldn't have a problem if these were never frozen and shipped cold, but since they were frozen thawed completely when they arrived, we have to cook all of these in a short period.

Any idea how long they will keep in the fridge?
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by peacemon View Post
4oz? You're cooking 4, whats everyone else going to eat?
Was really going to do these as somewhat of an app. Cook them and then slice as people wanted to try it. I think next time, if I order again from Costco, I'm going to get the 3lbs of A4 NY Strips. Can't get another buddy or 3 to go in on the 12-13lb chunks of meat.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:29 AM
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Depends how warm they were when you put them in the fridge aka how hot they got as that dictates how much bacterial growth started. I'd probably try to use them in the next few days.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
Depends how warm they were when you put them in the fridge aka how hot they got as that dictates how much bacterial growth started. I'd probably try to use them in the next few days.
Well, if Costco refunds us (they were trying to see if they could ship more today and send overnight), we'd have to return those. I'm not too worried about the bacteria as I they were still cool to the touch, but it wasn't refrigerator cool.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolsout1 View Post
Well, if Costco refunds us (they were trying to see if they could ship more today and send overnight), we'd have to return those. I'm not too worried about the bacteria as I they were still cool to the touch, but it wasn't refrigerator cool.
Maybe they will have you send it back. Maybe not. Lots of time we didn't want the added expense of getting it sent back, but if we thought it was fraudulent (it arrived warm, but we ate it anyway before calling you and want a reshipment) we'd stick with the return policy.

Bacteria starts to grow at 41deg, warmer the better of course. They're steaks so if you sear them well that's probably enough to kill it since its going to be mostly exterior, but it doesn't take too long for them to start getting nasty. Any sign of browning would be cause for concern.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
Maybe they will have you send it back. Maybe not. Lots of time we didn't want the added expense of getting it sent back, but if we thought it was fraudulent (it arrived warm, but we ate it anyway before calling you and want a reshipment) we'd stick with the return policy.

Bacteria starts to grow at 41deg, warmer the better of course. They're steaks so if you sear them well that's probably enough to kill it since its going to be mostly exterior, but it doesn't take too long for them to start getting nasty. Any sign of browning would be cause for concern.
I'm curious, how prevalent was such fraud? Easy to pick up on?
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:18 PM
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I don't think that's Omaha packaging. they ship all of their stuff in a white foam cooler and that cooler is not in a box. I have ordered a ton of stuff from Omaha and it has always arrived frozen solid. on that note, they must have changed their supplier or something on their chicken breast...not nearly as good now
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
I'm curious, how prevalent was such fraud? Easy to pick up on?
It wasn't very prevalent. I'd say maybe 1/10% if I had to hazard a guess. Usually it was fairly easy to pick up on, almost always the same - can't return product because they ate it already.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:07 PM
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We offered to keep 4 (what we were planning on cooking Sunday) and asked to get 4 replacements shipped just trying to make it fair for everyone, but that didn't seem to go over too well with Costco until we raised it to another level and that's when they started calling the vendor to see what could be done. The really limiting factor of this is these were ordered for Father's Day and we were going to cook them Sunday. Been talking about doing this for a few months now and here we are...lol
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:27 PM
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That would be a red flag. Why do you want part of the "spoiled" product replaced is the question in their mind.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
That would be a red flag. Why do you want part of the "spoiled" product replaced is the question in their mind.
its not about us thinking theyíre no good. Itís about us wanting a nearly frozen product to freeze what we werenít planning on eating Sunday. Thatís why we offered to keep and cook 4 Sunday with 4 replacements. We tried to compromise.

They em are sending 8 new ones by Sunday and we are shipping these back. No problem with that.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:16 PM
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Thawed and not very cold. F that.

No, you're not overreacting at all. Maybe under.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolsout1 View Post


its not about us thinking theyíre no good. Itís about us wanting a nearly frozen product to freeze what we werenít planning on eating Sunday. Thatís why we offered to keep and cook 4 Sunday with 4 replacements. We tried to compromise.

They em are sending 8 new ones by Sunday and we are shipping these back. No problem with that.
agreed. Just letting you know why the resistance on the other side. If it's bad it's bad. Not partially bad.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Marlin009 View Post
Thawed and not very cold. F that.

No, you're not overreacting at all. Maybe under.
shit happens. It's being replaced. No biggie n
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:52 PM
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At $450 for 32 oz itís a big deal
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cfarmd View Post
At $450 for 32 oz itís a big deal
Only if you're not getting it replaced. TS is getting a replacement. Shit happens - if it gets fixed, let it go.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:59 PM
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Things like this are exactly why I buy anything expensive from Costco first. They will stop at nothing to ensure a customer is happy.
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