Chewing The Fat: Never Too Old

With all the recent concern over food safety, reports and stories examining the chain of food distribution and consumption are piling up quickly. While the peanut fiasco has many concerned about processing procedures, many are more than willing to brave treacherous waters.

As though British cuisine isn't dubious enough when fresh, The Consumerist posted a piece about the rising demand among Britons for expired food--citing an increase in sales at Approved Food, a site offering deep discounts for items past their "Best By" dates.

And, yes--the site's main page warns about a pileup of back orders and pleads for patience, though we reckon these customers probably won't mind if their Jaffa cakes are just a wee bit more--how shall we put it?--developed on arrival.

Even with an apparent demand for past their prime treats, it's illegal in most places (not Oregon) to sell expired food. Increasing media scrutiny of food safety issues has turned up grocery stores with plenty left on the shelves. But stories have so far ignored the question of who stocks the shelves. Depending on the store, this responsibility often falls upon vendors and/or delivery drivers. Nor do the stories delve into the arbitrary nature of many dates.

Nonetheless, guess we'll play it safe and advise against disregarding the dates in your pantry. Then ship our discards to England. 

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Daniel Daugherty
Contact: Daniel Daugherty