Victorian blackouts: Wild photo of Coles supermarket freezer aisle leaves shoppers stunned

Images have surfaced of Coles supermarket aisles packed with discarded products deemed unsafe after sweeping power outages in Victoria.

Around 30 stores across the state were affected by the outages during ‘catastrophic’ storms on Tuesday that killed a dairy farmer and cut power to over 500,000 homes.

Coles customers have since discovered piles of dairy, meat and frozen products being thrown out because they may be ‘compromised’ after the fridges and freezers lost power during Victoria’s wild weather event.

One shopper spotted the frozen food aisle at the store in Middle Camberwell, east Melbourne, blocked off by trolleys because the contents of the fridges had been piled onto the floor.

Another customer at a different Coles found a large skip bin filled with unopened bottles of milk.

Shoppers at Coles in Victoria have been shocked to see aisles full of discarded frozen food (pictured) after wild storms smashed the state and caused power outages on Tuesday 

The image from the suburban supermarket was posted by the shopper to Reddit, as well as another picture of a warning sign next to the blocked-off aisle.

The sign urged customers not to purchase ‘dairy or frozen products as their quality may be compromised due to recent power outage’.

While some Reddit users took aim at the supermarket giant for throwing out so much stock, many supported the decision to ‘protect their customers’.

‘Every effort was made to save as much stock as possible… of the stores who lost hundreds of thousands worth of stock, not a single person in that process was excited to just willy nilly toss it in the bin,’ one user wrote.

‘It was a miserable day for cold chain workers around Victoria, they don’t just waste things for funzies, it’s to protect people’s health.’

Another user said that while they don’t support Coles after recent price increases, they admitted ‘this was a freak incident and they are protecting consumers’ health’.

The image of a ‘skip full of milk’ from another Victorian store drew the attention of one user who claimed to work at another supermarket where staff were forced to ‘throw out over $100k of stock’.

‘Absolutely gut wrenching, both to be throwing away that much food and to watch our hard work go down the drain,’ the user wrote.

‘The worst part was having to break it to every customer that we didn’t have anything for them to eat for dinner.’

A shopper at another Coles store in Victoria snapped a picture of a skip bin filled to the brim with full bottles of milk (pictured) after the freezers and fridges lost power following the violent storms

A shopper at another Coles store in Victoria snapped a picture of a skip bin filled to the brim with full bottles of milk (pictured) after the freezers and fridges lost power following the violent storms 

A Coles spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that while around 30 stores across Victoria had lost power, they had now all reopened.

‘All of our stores are now back open, and our team is working hard today to restock our shelves, so we can continue to serve the community,’ the spokesperson said.

‘While most of our stores were quickly back online, some of our stores were without power for longer which has meant there is some food that needs to be discarded.

‘At Coles, food safety is paramount – and unfortunately, the food we are disposing of is unsafe for sale or to be donated to food rescue charities.’

Rival supermarket Woolworths were also heavily affected by the wild storms, with a similar amount of stores losing power on Tuesday.

Four Woolworths stores are operating using generators while stores in the worst affected areas, Gippsland and Dandenong, ‘may trade with restricted hours’.

‘It’s expected we’ll need to discard a number of refrigerated products including dairy, poultry, milk and frozen food. This is in keeping with strict food safety protocols.

‘We’d like to thank the local power authorities for swiftly reconnecting power to areas where it was lost, and also our customers for their continued patience as our store teams work hard to accommodate all of the community’s needs.’