Shame on you Woolworths!

We have been searching high and low for ham since the weekend.  As Oscar is intolerant to nitrates and food colours he can only have some nitrate-free specialty ham products (which are not stocked everywhere so inconvenient to get to) or the Hans Country Fresh All Natural Ingredients Premium Leg Ham (which we get from Woolies with our weekly shop).  2 weeks ago our normal Woolies didn’t have any, so we went to the next one over.  This week neither one had it and we tried 2 others with no success.  I have now discovered that Woolies have “temporarily withdrawn” this product.  The reason?  “Quality issues” – not quality issues as in its not fit for sale or consumption, no, Woolies don’t like the colour of it.  Its a different colour!  Of course it is – it has no artificial preservatives or food colours!  This is what ham should look like (pinkish brown)!  And it tastes great, better than most of the ham they sell.

Shame on you Woolworths for putting asthetics above people’s health and consumer choice!

I’ve contacted Hans and the product is also stocked by some independent supermarkets, IGAs and Foodworks, and they are going to direct me to some in our area.  If you are having the same problem, you can call them on 1800 060 909 or go to their website

And if you want to complain to Woolworths, here is their feedback form

Meanwhile, there is a real lack of choice for supermarkets in our area, but I think its time to ditch Woolies.

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14 Responses to Shame on you Woolworths!

  1. Oscars Mum says:

    I haven’t purchased the Springbrook Valley ham myself so I don’t know what its ingredients are. There are preservative free hams available from speciality butchers.

  2. Alana Allen says:

    I too have been looking for Springbrook Valley products with no success yet! Woollies were the only ones that had it and as with all the good products, they have them for a short amount of time and they you can’t get them any more! So frustrating!

    • Oscars Mum says:

      It’s extremely frustrating Alana, they do it on all sorts of products. You just can’t rely on them to have the same things on their shelves week to week. Coles aren’t much better. 🙁

    • Nitrate Free? - says:

      Springbrook Valley ham and bacon has preservative 250 it its ingredients listing – otherwise known as Sodium Nitrate.
      Is there an option free of sodium nitrate?

  3. April says:

    To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think that Wollies discontinued selling the Springbrook Valley ham due to the colour. The issue is that the packaging is not properly vacuum sealed. I’ve had to sift through numerous packets to find ones that are properly sealed (I buy 5 + packs at a time). The one’s that are not properly sealed I’ve presented to the manager at Woolies to complain. I even found one that clearly had mould on it and stunk to high heaven. Please be careful when selecting the packs no matter where you buy from.

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Hi April,
      the ham I was talking about in this post was not pre-packaged, it used to be available at the deli counter and sliced for sale. The pre-packaged version came about after the supermarkets stopped stocking the sliced version (which was also much cheaper). Our local Woolies is terrible for stocking out-of-date and even mouldy products, so the blame could also be with them.

  4. Gill says:

    Rang Hans and the All Natural ham is no longer being produced HOWEVER they have a new product which is currently available only in pre-packed form. It is the Springbrook Valley range and does not have Hans on the packaging.. I did see it the other day in Woolworths.

    • Oscars Mum says:

      That’s some good news at least. Those pre-packaged meats are usually more expensive so it’s a shame if that’s the only way to get it. Thanks for letting me know.

  5. kptrk says:

    Hi Oscar’s Mum! We too are doing creative thinking before we start a full elimination diet for our 3 year old- after sulphites, nitrates, benzoates etc etc and colours etc, we are faced with limited choices living in a suburban area with little real fresh produce. I had the same issue with this ham at my local Woolworths (unavailable for weeks), then today was told “yes, we have it, we just don’t display it…” wt? Anyway, am going to follow your blog to help me stay sane while starting out our new eating adventure! And yes, you are right- it looks and tastes great- as it should! I was also told they don’t like putting it out due to “discolouration” – how long are they leaving it out lol and why can’t they put a sign up saying it IS available??

    • Oscars Mum says:

      Thanks for the info on the ham. I’ll see if any of our supermarkets have it hidden away. I did see it at Coles a few weeks ago in those tiny pre-sliced pack. $5 for a handful of small slices! Hope you find the blog useful and enjoy the recipes.

  6. Fussy Eater's Mum says:

    Hi Oscar's Mum,

    Good on you for complaining or else the food giants will just serve us what they want and push the little producers out of business.

  7. Alice Becomes says:

    go you!

    we are very lucky down here in maragret river that we have access to lots of quality local produce – i get my meat from the local farm shop and it is just divine – you can tastethe different

    I am sick of the big guys making choices about what we, the consumers, want..Armed with the correct information, i thinkmost people would be with you on this one

    From one mother of an Oscar to another!

    Gill xo

  8. Libby says:

    That's such a shame! I'm going to forward your link to a couple of people at Woolies who might be able to help.