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Resale of food already paid for

Discussion in 'Consumer Fraud & Scams' started by ConfusedWorker 1111, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. ConfusedWorker 1111

    ConfusedWorker 1111 Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    Illinois
    I am a banquet worker for a hotel and over the recent months my employer has been forcing us to save leftover food and they are then reselling it at other events in the following days or reselling it that night at the hotel restaurant. I am not entirely sure this is legal considering someone has already paid for this specific amount of food, and if any is left over the company is turning around and selling it again. Thanks.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Not illegal in any way I can think of, though there could be health concerns depending how the food has been handled.
    Certainly no legal problem for you as the banquet worker.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You could ANONYMOUSLY reveal this nasty, filthy, covert tactic to your county or city health department, or the agency that inspects food establishments in your county or state.

    If you're smart, do it ANONYMOUSLY if you wish to retain your employment.

    If, however, you want to throw your hands in the air, shout it out like you just don't care; be prepared for the blowback and possible job loss.

    This agency MIGHT be the one that could investigate your allegations:
    ...
    ...
    Food Establishment Inspections — Food Sanitation | Kankakee County Health Department (KCHD)
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  4. Curious Worker 1111

    Curious Worker 1111 New Member

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    So you don't believe it is illegal to be charging different customers twice for the same food? Essentially what they are doing is doubling their profits by taking the leftover food that some group has already paid for, and then selling it as "fresh" to another group. That just doesn't seem legal to me. Like our policy is to not let the customers take home leftover food, but then they're turning around and selling it to someone else. I have gone to our health department and they will be investigating. However the health inspector could not tell me if this practice was illegal. I'm just figuring it has to be since for example you can't buy like a twinkie and then turn around and sell it for a profit. And that's what these people are doing. They're buying the food at a wholesale price, then cooking it and selling it for a profit, then taking the leftovers that have already been paid for once and selling them again for another profit. I don't see how thathe could be legal.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I never told you what I believe.

    But, IF you believe that reselling food is unethical, why would you continue to work for these critters?

    I simply recommended a mechanism that might light a fire on other agencies to investigate these "shady" people.

    It MIGHT be illegal, but the health aspects of selling OLD food worries me, more.

    Old food, and previously used food displayed at other venues, then transported for resale poses many potential health risks, as well as contamination risks.

    Does it matter what causes some agency to investigate these cheaters?

    It wouldn't matter to me, because once one finds something, others will soon get engaged, too!
     
  6. Curious Worker 1111

    Curious Worker 1111 New Member

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    I apologize, that comment wasn't directed at you. I am the original poster, and I was trying to further clarify what I was asking after I received that first response from Mightymoose. I have contacted the health department and they are going to be investing but I slightly fear that they will simply give them a pat on the hand and say don't do this anymore because the local health department also could not answer on the legality of this issue. I have been employed at this establishment for quite some time and have put in a lot of work and dedication to it. And then today I was written up and it was written as my final written notice because I threw away food that had been paid for by the group who the event was for, and in my tenure at this establishment I have never been written up or received any disciplinary action. However I was written up as with a final written notice simply for throwing the food away, and the manager of the management company thathat owns our hotel told me it was a final written warning because the cost was so high that it allows them to go to that measure. And the cost of the food that was thrown away was probably less than $30 and as I stated the group had paid for that amount of food already. So I'm trying to find out the legality of this issue because something needs to be done about them doing this and ripping off these companies that come in and pay for these events.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You could ANONYMOUSLY, (or work with a cohort who ANONYMOUSLY on your behalf) send a simple one page question to the group or person arranging the function: "Hello, friend. Did you know that XYZ Catering ORDERS its employees to save the food your group purchased, so that XYZ can resell the excess food to another unsuspecting group? I think XYZ is ripping YOUR group off, and the "Grumpy Golfers" who are having a function tomorrow and your UNUSED food is making up half of "grumpy Golfers" food!!! Do you agree with me that XYZ Caterers is stealing from its customers and cheating them, too?"
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Your concern should end with your report to the health department.
    If they find a reason to take action they will.
    If they find no reason for action your personal opinion on the matter may lead to more disciplinary action.
     
  9. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the freshness and health concerns are what matters. If group A agrees to pay $$ for the food and they eat what they want and leave the rest, do they really care what happens to that food? Now group B who gets food that has been sitting out all day, should have a problem with the lack of freshness.
     
  10. Curious Worker 1111

    Curious Worker 1111 New Member

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    See and that's the thing, this food is being advertised as "fresh" in their contract with the banquet center.
     
  11. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    "Fresh" is likely open to interpretation. Something made the same day, or even recently, may be considered fresh.

    As far as cost, customers are paying for a service as much as they are for food.

    Do you feel it is inappropriate for the company to use the same service staff for each event or should they have "fresh" employees each time?
     
  12. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    I think we understand what your concern is but it isn't illegal in the sense that someone would call the police and report a crime. It may be an issue of breach of contract between Party B and the venue if they take issue with the term "fresh," which as mentioned, is open to interpretation.
     
  13. Curious Worker 1111

    Curious Worker 1111 New Member

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    Yes but also from my understanding of our contracts and the sale of things for profit, once an item is sold to a customer it becomes that customers property. So shouldn't there be some legality issue of reselling that same product to another customer? Or as you said would that be more of a breach of contract issue?
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Look at it this way.

    If it is a breach of contract issue, the one injured is the other party to the contract.

    If that isn't me, I'm not harmed.
    I may be disturbed at such crooked business practices, but I'm unharmed.

    The person with the legal beef is the client who contracted for the catering services.

    In some states, (or counties, cities) even the client can't reuse or take the food home.

    The leftover food must be destroyed, or given to hog farmers, for example.

    The leftover food can't be resold to some unsuspecting client, especially as FRESHLY prepared food.

    The issue for you is to carefully (somehow) inform the prospective clients, or even the former clients about what is being done.

    If you could post a copy of a blank contract on this site, that might help me (and others) determine if any laws or contract rights are being violated.
     
  15. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Bottom line here:

    If it is in violation of any laws, it is health laws. It may or may not be a breach of contract (which is a different issue) but it is not a legal violation in the sense that you initially asked about.
     
  16. Curious Worker 1111

    Curious Worker 1111 New Member

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    I appreciate you guys responses and help. I am not worried about whether or not this was illegal to cover my own back-end. I've just gone through all the channels I could and contacted everyone I could imagine to try and answer this question in order to get something done about it. The company that owns and operates the banquet center I work for is just really scummy and they seem fullike of scam artists the way handle issues with us workers and their practices. I am not worried about being fired as I will be quiting soon anyway. I just wasn't sure which options I had and what I could do to resolve this issue.
     
  17. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of things are legal that don't seem like they should be. It's not very sanitary though. So report it to the health inspector would cover that in your state or if there's something in the company that handles that. I sure wouldn't want to find out I was buying someone's leftover food.

    Why does it matter if it's illegal or not? It's obviously not sanitary and probably against policy. Are you losing out on any money? You reported it. That's all you can do. I wouldn't fret over it.
     
  18. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of scumbags in the world. Always have been, always will be. Nothing you can do about it.
     

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