Coles beefs up its security in Mackay
DON'T be alarmed if you're leaving the self-service checkout at Coles and the sirens go off - it's going to happen every time you buy a nice piece of meat.
The supermarket giant has recently implemented its new security tags on meat at its Mackay stores.
The tags can be seen on pork belly, pork rack, pork leg roast, most lamb cuts, roast beef and most steaks.
There are no tags on sausages, mince and rump - just yet.
It's a move to save Coles money at the self-service checkouts. Theft through the checkouts has been a problem for the supermarket giant since self-service was introduced in 2012.
Budding Mackay entrepreneurs Andrew Boettcher, Sophie Townsend and Renette Viljoen recently pitched a security idea after discovering the Sydney St Market store had lost $500,000 through its self-service checkouts.
Coles refused to comment of the self-service security, but did say the tags were one of many measures to reduce shoplifting.
"(Electronic article surveillance) tags are one of a range of security measures we have in place to reduce theft from our stores," a Coles spokesperson said.
"We find the large majority of our customers do the right thing."
When a customer puts a tagged piece of meat through the self-service checkout the buzzers will go off - even if they have paid for it.
A Coles attendant then will check the customer's receipt to make sure it matches the items in their grocery bags.
The move surprised Mackay shoppers, with 75-year-old former sugar cane farmer Neil McIntrye saying "it's not the done thing in the world I come from".
"I know a lot of stuff gets knocked off from those shops but it's sad," he said.
"It makes you wonder what the world is coming to."
Gavin Miller was surprised the alarms went off even when the customer has paid for the meat.
"Maybe they had a few too many things stolen," he said.
"I know the price of meat has gone up a lot."
And he is right. Meat and Livestock Australia reported in October that the cattle market is the tightest in 20 years and prices were at an Australian record.