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Ask Tess: Can a store sell products past their expiration date?

My friend was telling me the other day that a store can sell products past their expiration date. Is this true?

Morning Tess,

My friend was telling me the other day that a store can sell products past their expiration date. Is this true?

A Reader

Answer:

Hello,

Unfortunately, your friend is correct. According to the FDA, adding expiration dates is discretionary and up to the manufacturer.

 With the exception of infant formula, the laws that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administers do not preclude the sale of food that is past the expiration date indicated on the label. FDA does not require food firms to place “expired by”, “use by” or “best before” dates on food products. This information is entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer.

A principle of U.S. food law is that foods in U.S. commerce must be wholesome and fit for consumption. A “best by”, “use by” or expiration date does not relieve a firm from this obligation. A product that is dangerous to consumers would be subject to potential action by FDA to remove it from commerce regardless of any date printed on a label.

This little issue is why many are losing trust and confidence in our food system and causing many to begin making their own.

Hope this helps,


Tess

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on March 16th, 2015

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