Consumer reporter Pat
Volchok gives a behind-the-scenes look at Costco
products and services.
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BY PAT VOLCHOK
IF THE THOUGHT of spending hours cooking every day leaves a bitter taste, let me introduce you to the best meal deal in town, Costco’s
Kirkland Signature Service Deli.
Founded on Costco’s golden rule of quality first and then price, this highly successful
meals-to-go program offers home-style salads,
sandwiches, side dishes, entrées and Costco’s
famous rotisserie items. The department’s
mantra is simple: Create great comfort food
seasoned with fresh home-cooked taste, exceptional eye appeal and delicious aroma.
Costco’s Tom Fox of the Service Deli team
explains, “Costco’s doing what a member
would have to do to make a meal. We create our
own recipes around the warehouse foods
members already love, prepare the dishes by
hand in each warehouse’s Service Deli kitchen
on a daily basis and package them up fresh,
ready for members to take home.”
Fresh is an understatement. Standards are
so strict that rotisserie chickens are pulled after
just two hours out of the oven. All rotisserie and
meals-to-go items also undergo constant
scrutiny and temperature checks and are
removed if necessary. Costco does not participate in the questionable practice of lowering the
price of foods nearing expiration dates.
Here’s another plus: Warehouse products
are used as much as possible. This practice
ensures quality and reduces costs. Take the new,
extra-large 3-ounce meatballs. They are made
with Kirkland Signature’s own
fresh ground beef, made at Costco’s
meat plant in Tracy, California.
Tom shares great news. Starting this fall,
Service Deli menus will change seasonally to
take advantage of new harvests and offer
broader choices. Which is why winterish comfort foods, including meatballs with penne,
mashed sweet potatoes and rotisserie chicken
noodle soup will soon start to appear. As an
added timesaver, all chicken, beef and fish dishes
will be precooked and just need reheating.
For those who need to know, food-allergy
concerns are clearly listed on each label of all
32 Service Deli offerings.