Thursday, March 03, 2011


So I suppose I haven't written and complained about much in some time.  I'm not going back to see how long it was but I would assume it most likely had something to do with snow.

This is different.

For some time now I have been noticing an increase in the amount of beyond expiration date food items on grocery store shelves.  I first noticed it at the now itself expired I.G.A. at the Whistlestop Mall in Rockport.  The I.G.A. was quite convenient to run to when, at the last minute, it became obvious that the teeny bit of milk left in the jug would not be enough for morning cereal, or that peanut butter sandwich that earlier sounded okay enough for lunch no longer held any appeal come noon.  Convenience lost it's appeal when we were traipsing back to return items long out of date.  Come on, a Stouffer's Mac & Cheese that expired in 2009?

So, I.G.A. is now closed and the majority of our shopping is done at the Stop & Shop on Bass Avenue.  Has this helped?  Not a chance.  I think they have decided to take over where I.G.A. left off!  Will I buy milk on the day that is the same as the buy by date?  Nope.  I checked a few days later and it was all still on the shelf!  Is Stop & Shop alone in this apparent negligence to remove expired items from it's shelves?

Oh no.  We stopped at Shaw's on Eastern Avenue to buy some breakfast items.  The next morning, when opening the box, lo and behold, the box read sell by Dec. 4, 2010.  Later that day we returned the item and went to yet another store, Market Basket.

Market Basket, at the Gloucester Crossing shopping center, is the 'new' competition on the island.  Maybe they would be more alert to quality.  You would think, huh?  Not so.  Although we replaced the Shaw's returned item with one that had a sell by date some 4 months in the future, we did a random check and found several different items, still on shelves, past their sell by date.

Add another half hour to your regular grocery shopping outing and start checking all the packaging!  I certainly will be doing that.  Especially after a news report last night (and this morning).

Boston Public Schools have been serving up meals made with items that are months (possibly years?) past their 'use by' date!  They claim they are abiding by all government guidelines (which allow the use of out dated frozen food items)!


Scribbs, outdated, said...

As someone who is well past the "best if used by..." date, I can only sympathize.

Theoretically, those expiration dates are very conservative. But who wants to risk it?

deb said...

I could be cliched and say something like you only get better with age...(true) but, I won't (oh, I did!).

On the other hand, you should never be used.

elizabeth down the street said...

Thanks for the heads up! I always check milk, but not so much with dried goods... Yikes.

Annette said...

You really should have a word with the manager.
We at asda check the dates on everything every morning and if the sell by date is tomorrrow it is usually reduced in price. It is not illegal to sell anything if the sell by date is the same day you shop, but usually the shops will reduce it's price because you can only keep it for 24 hrs before it goes off.
Is there a trading standards office somewhere you can have a word with them?
They should have people going in the shops checking them.
We are checked all the time.

deb said...

EDS - That's pretty much what we used to do, too. Not anymore.

Annette - one would hope that there is someone checking because management doesn't seem to care any longer. One of the reasons that I named names is because of the potential for awareness if people stumble across the post when 'googling'.