General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

The product on the grocery shelf is expired, but you really need it. do you buy it and serve it anyway?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7810points) July 8th, 2009

i contemplated this today. a certain convenience store is, well, convenient and it has a lot of stuff in one place that affords you to buy whatever and get home. to go here and there to make one meal is stressing after a day after work.

not talking about milk or cheese or bread, but stuff in sealed bottles and cans.

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26 Answers

chyna's avatar

Probably not. Stuff in a bottle has a pretty long shelf life as it is, so if it’s past expiration, I wouldn’t trust it.

Grisaille's avatar

The things I’d really need are the essentials. Like ass paper and cigarettes.

Seeing as they don’t really expire, I could always eat out. Ain’t a biggie, in my case.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would ask for a discount on the product, since the store isn’t legally allowed to sell it past the due date, however, I have found that most sealed products are good to eat long after their use by date. I would not suggest using a product from a damaged package.

ragingloli's avatar

they print the minimum expiration date on it , so the actual expiration is mostly 1 week after. depending on how much it is past the expiration date, yes, i would.

charliecompany34's avatar

i saw something on the shelf today that was expired in march of 2008. of course, i passed that one up.

charliecompany34's avatar

@Grisaille yeah, um, i do think tobacco expires. a stale cigarette or chewing tobacco is just as nasty. even old beer is nasty.

Grisaille's avatar

Once opened, yeah.

Shelf life lasts a looooooooong time, and I can’t imagine a grocery store stocking old cigarettes. Ciggs circulate quickly.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

No, I’d go to another store. I’m really picky about what I put on the family table.

whatthefluther's avatar

Definitely avoid anything with a short shelf life that has expired such as dairy, freshly prepared food, baked goods, etc.. Stuff that has a long shelf life that just expired is probably fine. Can you imagine a producer knowing that his product will definitely go bad in 16 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 7–½ hours? I’d say those expiration dates have very comfortable margins. Of course, if anyone gets ill, you don’t know me!

YARNLADY's avatar

@whatthefluther I agree with you completely, I have used ‘bargain’ foods for years with zero problems.

casheroo's avatar

Expiration dates on goods like that are just for rotation purposes. I personally wouldn’t purchase it, unless I got a discount…but most places I’ve been to refuse to sell anything past expiration date..even though it’s perfectly safe to eat.

laureth's avatar

They can’t legally sell it past the date. If you ask for a discount, you may not get it, because selling it to you, even discounted, is not necessarily legal. :)

I cashiered at a grocery for 13 years – we were supposed to take the product away from you if we noticed it was expired and you tried to buy it.

That said, I’d probably use it if it was only a little out of date and there weren’t any signs of deterioration, such as bloating or mold or an off smell. Goodness knows I lived that way for a while – what do you think they do with all that expired stuff? If they can’t return it to the distributor for a refund, they would give it to the employees for free. ;)

Sometimes, that stuff fills in the gap between paychecks for grocery workers.

charliecompany34's avatar

@casheroo i actually agree. expiration dates are a little overrated, but processing and sealed and locked packaging should actually be alright. you know?

all i wanted was some miracle whip to “whip up” some leftover chicken for chicken salad. only thing left on the shelf was “sandwich spread.” it had the tight plastic seal on it and everything. calories were low. sodium was low. a great alternative to mayo or miracle whip. it was just that date that messed me up.

chyna's avatar

Did you buy it?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think expiration dates are ususally when the product loses it’s initial “freshness” but it is still safe to eat long afterwards. It doesn’t apply to everything, but just use good judgement.

SuperMouse's avatar

In my Science of Food class I learned that those dates are actually “pull dates.” In other words those are the dates that sellers have to pull them off the shelf, it doesn’t mean the food itself has spoiled. For instance milk should be good for at least a week after the pull date. Yogurt? Good for two weeks after the pull date.

Another interesting tidbit I learned from that class? Never, ever eat oysters, if you do you are just asking to get sick!

Grisaille's avatar

@SuperMouse You mean giant snots in handy-dandy, natural shoveling devices? No thanks. ;]

SirBailey's avatar

I would not buy it, but that’s just me.

augustlan's avatar

@SuperMouse Some products have “sell by” dates and others have “use by” dates. The ones with “sell by” are usable for x amount of time afterward, but the “use by” or (“fresh through”) dates… I don’t mess with those!

I have brought expired items to the manager’s attention more than once at my local grocery store. It always pisses me off to find them on the shelves.

So… I guess what I’m trying to say is “No, I wouldn’t buy or use it.” :P

Jack79's avatar

depends on the product, I don’t even buy milk on the expiry date, I try to get one that is as fresh as possible. But cans that last 4–5 years can probably survive an extra week. Things like sugar, flour, spaghetti…I’d probably buy them if I really had to.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jack79 the milk thing sounds like me. I bought milk lastnight. The date on the ones to the front said July 12. I moved them aside & found jugs dated July 19. I took that. I buy the freshest food items possible.

galileogirl's avatar

Corner stores are more likely than a franchise or chain like 7/11 to have outdated stuff and then canned/jarred goods might be as much as 1 month or 2 past pull dates.

Occasionally canned soups or spices get lost in the back of my cupboard, they are still edible but the quality has gone down. I had Crystal Lite (kind of like lo-cal Kool-Aid) that I found a couple of years after I bought it. It had turned from a powder to a solid even though it was unopened. It still dissolved in water and tasted OK.

chyna's avatar

@galileogirl Kudos for even trying it! I would have thrown it out.

galileogirl's avatar

Well I knew sealed brown sugar could go hard and be revived and Crystal lite is all chemicals anyway so there isn’t much natural ingredient to go bad.

zaperrer's avatar

It actually depends on what type of expiration date it is. For instance, “sell by” is more a guide for the store to know how long it can display a product for sale. The “best before” or “best if used by” date refers to a quality or flavour of the food. “Use by” works more like an expiration date, similar to that on medicines, and taking them after the date is not recommended. Ultimately, most of these labels should be used more as a guide, rather than a hard and fast expiration date.

tandra88's avatar

No. I wouldn’t. It’s still not safe. You could make somebody sick or poison them.

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