A few weeks ago, on Friday, August 29, 2008, we went through can after can of Goya Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) looking for one that wasn’t spoiled-looking. We couldn’t believe that so many in a row were ruined. They had a nasty grayish-white sludge on top, some worse than others.

Goya Cans

I jumped on Google and found one blog post about the same issue, on Erin Cooks. She just kept buying more cans, but we don’t roll that way. We sent the following note to Goya:

Goya,

We just threw out six cans of “Goya Black Beans (Negro Frijoles)” because they were all spoiled. Each can had greyish-white foam and chunks on top and had a bizarre odor. We regularly buy Goya black beans and kidney beans and have never seen this before.

In addition to ruining the dinner we were going to make tonight — we were shocked to see this many cans that were bad. We checked the expiration date on the bottom of each can before throwing them out and each had the same expiration date in 2011; they were in a package of six purchased from a BJs in Queens.

We would, at the minimum, like a refund for these!

Exactly two weeks later (this past Friday), we received a response from Goya:

Hello and thank you for contacting GOYA Foods.

This is in response to your email, concerning the above-mentioned product. We always appreciate when consumers such as you take the time to bring concerns to our attention.

We certainly regret that you felt dissatisfied with our product. Goya values all our consumers by providing the best quality products available.

We appreciate the concerns that you have raised and have carefully reviewed them.

In response to the complaint, we advise you that due to the warmer weather coming in sooner then expected, the black beans were growing in very dry causing the liquid to solidify and a higher amount of starch, (white/grayish substance) to accumulate leaving the beans in a mashed state.

A test has been conducted to make sure there is nothing wrong with the beans and it turns out that this poses no health hazard and nutrient value is the same

As a token of our appreciation for contacting us, we are sending you a reimbursement for this product.

Kindest Regards,

GOYA Foods, Inc.

The most important outcome is for anyone else who finds this blog post, don’t throw away the beans! They’re safe to eat, although disgusting looking (we’re still not sure we would eat it).

This seems like the kind of news that would’ve had a press release, or at least there would be a note on their web site (perhaps next to the product?). Alas, there was none. And interestingly, as you can probably tell from the various typos in the e-mail they sent, it doesn’t seem like they’ve got a form response put together.

We’re satisfied with Goya’s response, because we’ll be refunded for the product, and because they’re aware of the issue, have tested, and feel it’s safe to eat. That is corporate responsibility in action, and it’s what’s expected.

We like Goya alot, so we had higher hopes. They need to be a bit more proactive, either putting a note on suspect cans or on their website or something. Their response shouldn’t have taken two weeks, they should’ve had a customer service response ready for this issue and just sent it out. But we set the bar high.

posted by Lon at 09:07 AM Filed under News, Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.