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Apr 14, 2007 05:58 AM

Expiration Dates on Food

Recently I have noticed an increase of the lack of covergae on removing items from shelves as expiration dates have passed. Whether milk, cheese, bread it seems that I am always giving products to the grocery staff and showing them expiration dates that are a couple of days or up to a month in the past.

Are others finding this and how do you handle.

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  1. I would report it to the Customer Service Desk management or request to speak with the day/night manager, not just a staff member on the floor. And if it continues, perhaps a call to the Board of Health is in order. (A MONTH past due? Yikes!)

    1. I tend to not pay as much attention (altho I know I should) but I've heard that from several others in my area (Atlanta).

      Agreed - report to manager. Altho managers at certain stores are .... less than helpful.

      Side note - a friend of mine just told me that she went to open a can of soup and noticed that it expired in 1999!!!!!!!! She threw it out but decided to be a good person and recycle the can - bad move! It was disgusting inside - apparently beyond disgusting.
      So not a few days expired, but clearly she needs to clean out her pantry!

      1 Reply
      1. re: laurendlewis

        LOL! Yeah, on that one, I think I'd just throw the entire can out without opening it to see the contents, thankyouverymuch. :-)

      2. I can almost forgive things like milk and bread due to a combination of high turnover and what I call reach to the back syndrome. What I cannot forgive are things in a can and/or items with a high preservative content, I find this to be beyond disgusting. For example, I once bought some hot dogs only to return home to find out they were at least a couple of months past the expiration date. I returned the hot dogs at customer service, and made a point of telling them this could potentially make people sick. I went back to the store a couple of days later, just because I thought about it I checked the hot dogs to see if there were any still on the shelf with the same expiration date I had returned. There were, I told the manager, and never shopped there again. Ever since that experience I am diligent about checking the expiration dates, especially since it is just me and my BF. I will say that it seems to be a more prevalent problem now then it was even a few years ago. I do try to point it out to someone who I think might care, i.e. manager or long term employee.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lizzy

          I think it's so sad that some managers just don't care at all.... a similar thing happened at my local store. How frustrating....

        2. I think some stores get away with selling items past their best by/expiration dates because most people DON'T check expiration dates.

          I've had experiences similary to lizzy, where the managers/stores don't seem to respond. This is what I've started doing: I make a scene right in front of the milk/cheese/meat case as soon as someone else picks up the item or a similar one (usually within a few minutes if it's milk or cheese), especially if there is a mom with older kids there. "Oh my gosh! This milk is expired. Can you believe that?" Then, asking the mom, "is that carton past due, too? Do you kids see any more that are past due?" Kids start pawing through the items on the shelves. "Put them on the bottom of my cart and I'll go get the manager." Doing this reminds people to check labels/dates, gets kids more involved/aware of their food, gets the bad milk/cheese/lunchmeat off the rack, and when the manager shows us he realizes that several people are aware of the "bad" product, and possibly dozens of other customers have seen the spectacle and are probably aware of it, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Non Cognomina

            Haha - I can just imagine the scene of kids "pawing" through the milk looking for expired cartons like digging for gold! "Look, Mom, I found another one!!!"

          2. I guess around here they publicize these things alot, but there are laws covering expiration, pricing and all that. If it bothers you, all you have to do is call your county consumer affairs and report it. Our local newspaper has frequent reports on who's in violation and the fines they have to pay. But then the grocery chains always say, it's cheaper to pay the fines than to hire people to police their products. So at least WE know to look.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coll

              These days, grocery stores have pretty sophisticated merchandise tracking systems to know when to replace items. They should be able to track the expiration and replace accordingly.