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Jan 30, 2006
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Best before date?

Can stores sell products that the best before date has expired? I didn't even realize I picked up some cereal dated March 27, 2017. It was not on cleareance. It was on sale with the other cereal.
21 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Someone probably forgot to check.
T&T has a program now where you get the item free if you find an item with an old best before date.

Not that it matters.
That's why it's called "best" before, not "You're gonna die at 00:01 after the date printed if you consume this"
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Jan 27, 2014
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On a related topic. I have a tube of anchovy paste. It gives an expiry date of November 2017 but it also mentions consume within 7 days?

Does that mean when you use it in a recipe to consume that recipe within 7 days? Or the whole tube of paste needs to be consumed within 7 days lol?
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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You should consume the whole tube in 7 days because you've compromised the seal.
Stuff is only good when it's sealed. Once it's opened, all bets are off.

This is why I'm a proponent of a vacuum sealer. You can mostly renew the life of your products by sealing them.

That said, they're anchovies. The salt content alone should make them fine to eat.
I'd eat them WELL past expiry.
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Jan 3, 2014
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ar2020 wrote:
Apr 18th, 2017 4:57 pm
On a related topic. I have a tube of anchovy paste. It gives an expiry date of November 2017 but it also mentions consume within 7 days?

Does that mean when you use it in a recipe to consume that recipe within 7 days? Or the whole tube of paste needs to be consumed within 7 days lol?
Once you open it, the tube needs to be consumed within 7 days.
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Feb 7, 2017
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trellaine201 wrote:
Apr 18th, 2017 10:50 am
Can stores sell products that the best before date has expired? I didn't even realize I picked up some cereal dated March 27, 2017. It was not on cleareance. It was on sale with the other cereal.
Yes they can.

Should they? Whole other Question... And an ethical one.

I always check dates, and look for the freshest on the shelf (first in first out, means newest stock is usually at the back).

I don't buy something if the date is passed or about to (especially for Meat, Dairy, Eggs, etc). And I o expect the store to either reduce the price... Or donate it to their Local Food Bank (and many do).

As noted others here have covered the definition of Best Before Date (quality / taste issue) vs Expiry Dates (health issue). They are not the same thing.

Plus once open, then a different clock begins to tick... Be it for Quality / Taste (such as Cereal) or something more "fragile" (like Dairy Products, Meats, Leftovers).

Personally, I like this website when I am unsure of shelf life, or open life

Www.EatByDate.com

Has good general info as well as a searchable database by food item
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Feb 27, 2014
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trellaine201 wrote:
Apr 18th, 2017 10:50 am
Can stores sell products that the best before date has expired? I didn't even realize I picked up some cereal dated March 27, 2017. It was not on cleareance. It was on sale with the other cereal.
Most stores would see "close to expiry" items on a sale. Superstore has those 50% off for "close to expiry" items.

Item may/may not be bad, per the CBC article.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
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The thing here is, you're paying full price for quality in full, not reduced pricing for quality at a reduced level.
That's why it is wrong to charge full price on the day a best before date approaches.
It should be reduced to clear long before the best before date so newer, more fresh inventory can have good shelf space.
(or sent back to the company if a grocery store prefers to do things that way...)

***I realize the cereal was a sale, not regular retail, but it's still a full price sale. The sale price is not a clearance price. It should mean nothing more than the same reason stores print flyers...
Last edited by playnicee1 on Apr 20th, 2017 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aug 22, 2006
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playnicee1 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 3:06 am
It should be reduced to clear long before the best before date so newer, more fresh inventory can have good shelf space.
(or sent back to the company if a grocery store prefers to do things that way...)
That's just going to increase prices and waste food.
Now stores have to carry X% more inventory just to make sure nothing is within a whatever "long" is to ensure it doesn't expire.
What's the vendor going to do with expired stuff?
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death_hawk wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 3:11 am
That's just going to increase prices and waste food.
Now stores have to carry X% more inventory just to make sure nothing is within a whatever "long" is to ensure it doesn't expire.
What's the vendor going to do with expired stuff?
It gets cleared out before expiry, and someone else makes a living...
http://www.almostperfect.ca/
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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That still doesn't solve the original stores' problem of having to fire sale a product and lose money on it.
That results in higher prices and wasted man hours, logistics, inventory control, fuel, etc.

That type of store makes sense when they're dealing with the manufacturer or wholesaler or something with a few one time shipments, but to constantly clear a (or rather all) grocery store of near expiring stock would be ridiculous in terms of added costs.

I could see a "high end" supermarket like Whole foods doing something like that because they charge premium prices already and have an image to maintain.
But for me I'd rather pay less.
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Jan 15, 2006
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Richmond Hill
playnicee1 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 3:06 am
The thing here is, you're paying full price for quality in full, not reduced pricing for quality at a reduced level.
That's why it is wrong to charge full price on the day a best before date approaches.
It should be reduced to clear long before the best before date so newer, more fresh inventory can have good shelf space.
(or sent back to the company if a grocery store prefers to do things that way...)

***I realize the cereal was a sale, not regular retail, but it's still a full price sale. The sale price is not a clearance price. It should mean nothing more than the same reason stores print flyers...
I hope you don't own your own business. Operating like that is simply not feasible in the long run. Also vendors don't make deals like that, for one logistically it doesn't even make sense. Source - use to be in retail
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
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EP32k2 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 6:30 pm
I hope you don't own your own business. Operating like that is simply not feasible in the long run. Also vendors don't make deals like that, for one logistically it doesn't even make sense. Source - use to be in retail
Oh sure, that's right. Let's all pay full price for something sitting around for ages.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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playnicee1 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 7:58 pm
Oh sure, that's right. Let's all pay full price for something sitting around for ages.
If it's still good, why not?
It's better than it going to the landfill or spending more money to firesale it somewhere else.

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