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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Selling expired food - who do I call?
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03/04/2009 07:14:18 PM · #1
It's not the first time I've seen expired food for sale in a grocery store, but what happened today just pissed me off to no end.

I went in to buy milk and a few other things and I always check the date on the milk before i buy it. Well ALL the 1% milk was expired. Like three days expired! I looked at the 2% and most of it was dated today or yesterday - so 50% of it was expired.

An employee was working nearby and I told him "Hey, you have a lot of expired milk here" to which he responded "I know." ....oh oh, my blood pressuring is starting rise a bit as he said it very casual, matter of factly. So I then say "I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sell expired milk, and it's just plain wrong. Aren't you going to do anything about it?" to which he says "Ask management".

OK, I go find the manager and I tell him "Did you know most of your milk is expired? I mean, some of it expired 3 days ago" so which he stares at me blankly, so I add " I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sell expired food. Are you going to take if off the shelf?". He then says " I don't think this is they way you should bring this up" and walks away.

WTF?

I mean, if it's their policy to leave expired food on the shelves, to sell potentially bad food - what else are they doing or selling that's expired and bad? I got some lunchmeat there earlier this week that didn't taste, well, didn't have any taste and that's not quite right for salami, is it? So now I'm wondering if maybe that was past it's sell date to!

OK, so what governmental authority do I call about this?
03/04/2009 07:19:36 PM · #2
Call your county Health Department. They have inspectors that inspect restaurants and food stores for issues like this. Maybe a few fines will coerce them to keep their inventory fresh. My sister is an inspector in Illinois and has horror stories aplenty!
03/04/2009 07:19:38 PM · #3
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

It's not the first time I've seen expired food for sale in a grocery store, but what happened today just pissed me off to no end.

I went in to buy milk and a few other things and I always check the date on the milk before i buy it. Well ALL the 1% milk was expired. Like three days expired! I looked at the 2% and most of it was dated today or yesterday - so 50% of it was expired.

An employee was working nearby and I told him "Hey, you have a lot of expired milk here" to which he responded "I know." ....oh oh, my blood pressuring is starting rise a bit as he said it very casual, matter of factly. So I then say "I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sell expired milk, and it's just plain wrong. Aren't you going to do anything about it?" to which he says "Ask management".

OK, I go find the manager and I tell him "Did you know most of your milk is expired? I mean, some of it expired 3 days ago" so which he stares at me blankly, so I add " I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sell expired food. Are you going to take if off the shelf?". He then says " I don't think this is they way you should bring this up" and walks away.

WTF?

I mean, if it's their policy to leave expired food on the shelves, to sell potentially bad food - what else are they doing or selling that's expired and bad? I got some lunchmeat there earlier this week that didn't taste, well, didn't have any taste and that's not quite right for salami, is it? So now I'm wondering if maybe that was past it's sell date to!

OK, so what governmental authority do I call about this?


I would start with your county health inspector -- check any restaurant for their "score" sheet and get the contact information. If they are not the right contact, I'm sure they know who is.

It wasn't Ingles was it? :)
03/04/2009 07:21:01 PM · #4
Good timing, Hawkeye! Only 2 seconds behind me!
03/04/2009 07:22:29 PM · #5
Holy cow, I googled it. A big problem, in many stores!

I always check the date. Not only that, but if it is in a container that can be opened, I check to make sure it has not been opened. I used to get stuff like yogurt home, only to find out it was in an already-opened container. I guess you have to be an informed, alert consumer these days.
03/04/2009 07:31:51 PM · #6
I think you should shop in a different store.....

My sister is a manager in a large supermarket here. That attitude from that Manager is just not good enough. They are pretty strict on their Used By stuff here. When its getting close to the date, they have it on special (eg dairy) to clear it, and you know that it has a short life when you buy it........
03/04/2009 07:52:43 PM · #7
"You may be surprised to learn that dating is not required by US federal law, with the exception of infant formula and baby foods which must be withdrawn by their expiration date. For all other foods, except dairy products in some states, freshness dating is strictly voluntary on the part of manufacturers. To further shake your confidence, stores are not legally required to remove outdated products from their shelves. So, it's the old caveat even when it comes to food: Buyer beware and always read the label."

From Food.com; read more here...

R.
03/06/2009 03:16:44 PM · #8
Buy the milk, drink it, get sick and then sue their ass off. That'll teach'em. Seriously some local city governments have a grocery store inspector listed in the Government pages of your phone book. Giv'em a call and see what they recommend.
03/06/2009 03:25:55 PM · #9
Turkey Bowling.
03/06/2009 03:49:57 PM · #10
Is it the Foodland up on Tusca? Now you have me guessing based on things that are in your area, so I can avoid going there! :)

Message edited by author 2009-03-06 15:50:57.
03/06/2009 04:13:31 PM · #11
Sounds like you need a new grocery store. I can understand having some that you missed catching the expiration date on but I cannot excues their attitude to the problem. I stock dairy in a large grocery store so I should know. If that happened with me, I would thank the person for pointing it out and see if I could get a current one from the back before I pulled off the expired ones. Sounds like the employee is lazy but what about the attitude of management who seems to not care either? Perhaps that is where the employee gets their attitude. They forget that the customer is the one who is paying their bills.
03/06/2009 04:21:08 PM · #12
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Turkey Bowling.


That show is great!
03/06/2009 05:20:11 PM · #13
Originally posted by alanfreed:

Is it the Foodland up on Tusca? Now you have me guessing based on things that are in your area, so I can avoid going there! :)


It's a shop and save now and has a new owner that has several (5+) other stores, some shop n save some foodland, throught the pgh area.
I talked with the owner and he seemed about as pissed as I was, so we'll see in a week or so what they've done, if anything. I got the owner's cell number now and he said to not hesitate to call. He's got $3 million tied up in buying the plaza, remodeling it and the store and putting in a gas station, so crap like this that can make the biggest store in the plaza a sure money loser should concern him a great deal. It would me. but then i'd not have expired milk on the shelves, or a manager that would allow it.
03/06/2009 05:57:00 PM · #14
and little more from the link Bear_Music posted - which i thought to be true, and may be the reason the milk was still on the shelf. it says 'at least a week beyond the date... not that i am saying having expired ( or seemingly expired ) products on the shelf is good for business... but have you're ducks in a row before you cause a stink...

i might have taken one of the jugs, opened it, and smelled it first.

Originally posted by food.com:

Sell-by or pull-by date: This date is used by manufacturers to tell grocers when to remove their product from the shelves, but there is generally still some leeway for home usage. For example, milk often has a sell-by date, but the milk will usually still be good for at least a week beyond that date if properly refrigerated.


Message edited by author 2009-03-06 18:01:31.
03/06/2009 06:10:56 PM · #15
Originally posted by soup:

and little more from the link Bear_Music posted - which i thought to be true, and may be the reason the milk was still on the shelf. it says 'at least a week beyond the date... not that i am saying having expired ( or seemingly expired ) products on the shelf is good for business... but have you're ducks in a row before you cause a stink...

i might have taken one of the jugs, opened it, and smelled it first.

Originally posted by food.com:

Sell-by or pull-by date: This date is used by manufacturers to tell grocers when to remove their product from the shelves, but there is generally still some leeway for home usage. For example, milk often has a sell-by date, but the milk will usually still be good for at least a week beyond that date if properly refrigerated.


Yup... In general, sell-by dates are calculated to allow a week or so of leeway in the home refrigerator. They do NOT mean the product is unsafe after that date. Though the manufacturers would like you to THINK so, because they make an extra profit off people who toss perfectly good food out of the fridge when it reaches the sell-by... In many supermarkets, when meat products are one day shy of their sell-by the markets put a reduced-price sticker on them because their own rules force them to pull the product if it passes the sell-by; accordingly, I buy MOST of my meats right at the sell-by date, and save a bunch of money doing it; especially on products that were already on sale to begin with.

I won't do this with poultry unless I am planning to cook it that day, nor with seafood that's not in a frozen state, but everything else is fair game. I won't buy milk at the sell-by either, but that's largely because I don't use a lot of milk so I need shelf life in my own refrigerator.

R.
03/06/2009 07:26:14 PM · #16
IMO - the real issue is with the lack of inspecting being done on the producers of products that - either provide raw materials for consumer food, or the manufacturers of the food itself. that's well beyond a printed sell by date. and the whole peanut incident should make my point clear. keep in mind it isn't just peanut factories that are running, grinding, and spitting out sub-par food. we just don't know yet - because it hasn't hit the news...

how to fix it - i don't know. but raising a stink about small potatos is only going to worsen the issue - ie: a post like this being on FOX news would likely end up in an increase in small scale inspections of local shops - rather than the root of the issue. and probably steal some of the lacking resources already involved in large scale inspections to accomplish satisfying the avid TV viewer...

Message edited by author 2009-03-06 19:29:57.
03/06/2009 07:50:04 PM · #17
I worked at a grocery store when I was in high school and college, then as a electrician that somehow managed to end up working in a lot of restaurants. Milk on the shelf that is past the "best if sold by date" is nothing, at least you could see it and have a choice. One day I'll tell you about a bunch of expired chicken, hot water, and bleach. One of the things that always has me wondering about is parents that try to protect their kids from every little bug, won't let them eat dirt, carry a frog in their pocket, or makes them use anti-bacterial soap, what happens to them in the real world.
03/06/2009 07:59:33 PM · #18
they are actually much more likely to get sick... ?

Message edited by author 2009-03-06 20:00:24.
03/06/2009 08:53:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by soup:

they are actually much more likely to get sick... ?


Yup :-)

R.
03/08/2009 01:15:12 AM · #20
Sell by date is pretty arbitrary. It does not mean a product will be bad by then. How long it lasts depends on how it was handled on its entire journey from the manufacture to your home. A carton which was next to the sunny side of the truck during delivery will not keep as long as one in the middle of a pallet. How long it sat in the backroom of the store as it was transfered from the truck to their cooler is important- we are supposed to get it in within 20 minutes but I did see one of my coworkers one day take nearly three hours to get in in the cooler. How long it takes you to get it from the shelf to your car is important too. Some people will dig to the back to try to get a colder one- but spend the next hour with it warming up in their cart as they continue to shop. Or they may stop somewhere else along the way home to buy something else so it sits in their car for a long time. With milk just smell it. Your nose will tell you if it is OK to drink or not.
02/20/2014 01:48:55 AM · #21
The expiration date that seems on packaged food is complicated to many people, largely as a result of phrases used, such as “Best Before,” “Sell By” or “Use By.” Is food still safe to eat on that date, or somewhat after that date? Let\'s consider saving money by understanding what that expiration date indicates.
02/20/2014 03:08:55 AM · #22
This thread is 5 years past it's expiry date.
02/20/2014 04:15:20 AM · #23
Originally posted by JH:

This thread is 5 years past it's expiry date.

I could tell by the smell.
02/20/2014 07:18:14 AM · #24
spam doesn't expire, but then again, is this spam? its not real meat, but it doesnt appear to be the other either...
02/20/2014 08:24:34 AM · #25
Originally posted by Mike:

spam doesn't expire, but then again, is this spam? its not real meat, but it doesnt appear to be the other either...

Mystery meat - formerly an airline staple - recycled once more.
Yum.
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