Bertocchi Bertocchi! How can you trust this smallgoods company?

It all started with a phone call to the Bertocchi Smallgoods Company in Melbourne, Australia on a Saturday morning.

I had woken up with a violent headache and since I am extremely allergic to Monosodium Glutamate (MSG or Flavour Enhancer 621) I began to wonder if the Mortadella I had been enjoying could possibly contain MSG. I had been getting ill for a while and so began to suspect it was something I was eating.

Could it be Mortadella? I had better ask the manufacturer.

When I phoned I was reassured by the staff on duty at Bertocchi that the Mortadella was safe.

So I took their word for it. After all, they should know what’s in their products.

Later that day I was at Woolworths and thought I would confirm what I had been told.

Shock, horror! The Mortadellla had MSG in it. It said so on the packaging that was usually removed when you ordered slices of it from the Deli section.

Woolworths even gave me the price tag with the ingredients on it.

Anyone who is allergic to an ingredient would understand how stunned I felt and how disappointed I was in Bertocchi’s flagrant disregard for a customer’s well-being.

So I returned the original product to Woolworths, told them what had happened to me and the manager of the store was as stunned as I was. She refunded the money, gave me other smallgoods which were MSG-free and said she would follow it up.

Meanwhile I spoke to Bertocchi again to ask why they had lied to me.

Now this is what I was told by the Operations Manager at Bertocchi. She is the one who definitely knows what is in the product.

Apparently, there is no MSG in the Mortadella but the information on the outside packaging or casing, she called it, is old and out of date. Bertocchi are trying to use up old casing that they had left over and that is why the actual ingredients on the outside are wrong!

“Are you telling me that the information about the ingredients is wrong?” I asked.

“Yes, but that’s because we are using old casing. The Mortadella is still good and you don’t eat the casing anyway,” she said.

I found it hard to believe that this person, let’s call her “Margaret”, was actually reassuring me that the stuff was okay even though the labelling and the casing were wrong.

I asked. “But how can I believe you if you admit you are trying to use up some of your old stuff? Isn’t correct labelling a legal health issue?”

The reply was quirky. “You know if you are so allergic to MSG then you should ask what’s in the Mortadella”, the Bertocchi Operations Manager suggested.

“Isn’t that just what I am doing. Asking you?”

Margaret thinks for a few seconds and then answers. “I guess you are”.

What more could I add to her ridiculous suggestion.

But I said plenty to the Woolworths Manager who said she would report this further exchange to Head Office.

I will be contacted by Woolworths Head Office sometime soon after they investigate why Bertocchi are misrepresenting their products.

Meanwhile, I am avoiding any Bertocchi Smallgoods. If you can’t trust the labelling and you can’t trust the explanation which does not ring true, then don’t risk it.


Friday- phone call from Woolworths’ Manager in charge of Deli all over Australia, Mr Scott Wing:-

Had a good talk with Scott Wing who wanted to hear from me directly what happened with Bertocchi. He was very supportive of me and expressed the view that Bertocchi missed an opportunity to handle a customer query in a proper manner. He also said that using old casing with misleading information was wrong and that Bertocchi will fix the problem.
He assured me that Bertocchi’s Mortadella had no MSG in it and that Woolworths had tested this out themselves.
I appreciated the way that Woolworths and Mr Wing handled the situation. Pity that Bertocchi management did not do likewise.


Why Prime Minister Rudd hurried to Canberra

You would have to be an absolute twit to believe that Kevin Rudd has scurried back to Canberra because of the Syrian crisis. This is the excuse he gave today for diverting his election campaign. He tells us that he has to confer with other world leaders (ha!) about what’s happening in the Middle East.

Apparently without our glorious leader the rest of the world would not know how to handle the latest developments in Syria.

Not bloody likely, is what I say.

My take on this is that the polls are looking downcast for Rudd; so he has skedaddled to Canberra to reassess his modus operandi in the campaign. Why he is doing so badly is what he has to discuss with the rest of the Labor mavens. What can be done to salvage an election campaign that is floundering.

Okay, so I’m a cynic about it all. I don’t believe the Rudd excuse that he intends to solve the Syrian conflict and that the people of Australia are waiting on his report. After all, it’s been going on for TWO Years now. Surely he cannot be that arrogant as to imagine that he has a contribution to make when it comes to the Middle East.

Not even Prime Minister Rudd can have such delusions of grandeur. And that’s saying something.

The Saga continues and our credulity is stretched even further.

It turns out that amidst this Syrian security panic briefing the Prime Minister found time to film a two-hour episode of Kitchen Cabinet. It’s a cooking show with celebrities being interviewed. Apparently, according to Rudd, the other participants in the Syrian saga roundup were not available, so Rudd had to wait for them and during that period he starred in a TV show.

So we are supposed to believe that the Syrian briefing was an emergency but not enough of an emergency, apparently, to make certain that everyone of the people involved turned up at the appointed time. That’s why Rudd had plenty of time to film the cooking show.

Clear as mud or is that clear as Rudd?

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd cheated in the debate!

Imagine you turned up to an exam with some notes on which you relied. Not nice or fair or honest, is it? Especially if you had been told that notes were illegal.

Well, guess what? It’s what our desperate Prime Minister did last night during the “The Great Debate” with Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott. Rudd referred to his notes all the time and this created a terrible impression. He appeared unsure of himself and became boring as he tried to include every point he had ever made.

He simply would not stick to the subject and answer the specific question that had been posed. Nor could he help himself about making long lists and enumerating them with the aid of notes.

Australians feel strongly about “a fair go”. They respect people who play fairly, who play by the rules or else it’s simply not “fair dinkum” and they disapprove vehemently of being conned. Unfortunately, Rudd is not above cheating in a debate as he demonstrated last night.

On being questioned about this unethical behaviour Rudd explained that he did not know he could not rely on notes. Hard to believe isn’t it? But let’s say that he really did not know, then how come his advisers did not tell him not to cheat?

Was it because they didn’t dare correct him since he is known to be such a tyrant who baulks at advice? Or was it perhaps because his advisers did not know about the prohibition of notes because they hail from the U.S.A? You see Rudd did not think that Australian advisers were good enough for him?

He could be right.