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Aug 15, 2007 03:33 PM

Whole Foods and expiration dates

Has anyone else noticed that Whole Foods doesn't keep up on their expiration dated foods?

I've accidentally bought several expired items from my local WF in Sherman Oaks, CA. Now I'm very careful to inspect each item before I buy. I know that I should do that anyway, but I haven't seen expired foods so rampant as in this WF.

I've also noticed the WF label items (365) don't usually have expiration dates. Is this just a bad store in a good chain?

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  1. I certainly have noticed this! I love when the yogurt is two weeks past its date.

    What I want to know is, with the stuff that comes to the stores prepackaged from their regional commissaries, how in the world does it stay fresh until the official printed expiration date? For example, broccoli cheese soup: packed on such-and-such a date in the commissary, shipped to a store, sits in the grab-and-go case... and the expiration date is TEN TO TWELVE DAYS afterward. And it appears to not have any preservatives. Can anyone offer elucidation?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dedicated Fresser

      Basically, properly prepared and stored foods last longer than most people think. And, if you don't have meat in it, you'll be able to get quite a long period of time from such a product.

    2. YES! this is one of the reasons i try not to shop there. i hate paying rediculously high prices and get home and have to throw something out. it's absurd. and, my guess, is against the law. too bad there are no enforcers.

      the other thing that makes me so upset there is that when they have meats on special, the acutal sticker they print with it typically is for either the wrong meat or for the unspecial price.

      it's like you have to be a highly vigilent shopper to leave the store without being overcharged. and it definitely lessens the enjoyment of picking up groceries (which i actually like to do). i hate having to check up on everything. i just want to pick the food out and leave happily.

        1. re: mojoeater

          I would (and I do) but I end up going to WF more often because it's a short walk from my place. Convenience wins sometimes. But I'm sad that this is not just a fluke at my store.

        2. Ok, I've got a great expired food story from WF. I went to the one in Union Square in Manhattan to get a carton of Fage yogurt for breakfast. The one I pulled off the shelf expired in August 2006....yes...a year ago!!!
          Disgusting. I showed it to the manager and opted for just coffee!

          1 Reply
          1. re: HungryRubia

            Wow! That's just unbelievable! I had an experience where I got a yogurt drink on the way to work (in a rush) opened it and I almost spit it out. It had definitely gone bad. Thing is - I don't even think it was out of date, just had been out in the sun or something....

          2. Wow, I've never encountered any of these issues there (that I'm aware of) :O

            I feel compelled to go there for lunch today and see what I come across. I love ours (Boca Raton, FL)

            1 Reply
            1. re: OysterHo

              Yeah, I've never noticed the expiration date issue. Never bought something that was even on the expiration date. It might have something to do with turnover rates and how busy one's local WF is. Mine is pretty busy at all hours of the day, so there's probably good product turnover for most things.

              I don't really buy the prepared foods, but on the rare occasion that I do, I haven't noticed anything past expiration. Maybe one day away from expiration. I do find some things are cutting it close, but in the case of yogurts or dairy stuff, I never see it less than two weeks before the expiration date.

              FWIW, I shop at my local WF weekly due to it being the only grocery store accessible to me without having to take public transportation, so most of my perishable food comes from there. I think it really just depends on management and how busy one location is.

              On the other hand, four out of the five TJ's I've been to in my area have had expired stuff on the shelves despite all of them being super crowded most of the time. I think it's really just different conditions throughout different parts of the country.