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Sold out of date food. What is the law on
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Zoee
Old 30-07-2011, 10:32 AM
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Thumbs down Sold out of date food. What is the law on

the shop's duty to me as a customer?

One of the big high street stores admitted selling me out of date peanuts (Mar 2011 on the packet) two days ago.

Their customer care person said their policy is to refund cost of item and give an in date replacement of the item - which they did.

The incident has left me wondering what is a store's legal obligation in the UK to a customer for selling out of date food?

I didn't get food poisoning I know but was wondering would they have reacted differently if I had?

or

was it because I wasn't from the local Environmental Health team was the reason why there wasn't more dialogue?

To me it was a case of: ah well this happens all the time Just shut up and go away!

Was I wrong to expect more (Even though not too sure what more is)

I add, I'm not looking to sue the store or anything and will shop there again. It's just that leaving the store, I felt like they wanted to sweep my out of date query under the carpet

Zoee

PS If this issue has already been discussed on this forum, can someone point me to the thread? Thanks
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JayJay14
Old 30-07-2011, 1:11 PM
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If a product has a 'best before' date, then they can be sold after that date - the store must inform the buyer that they are buying out of date food. If food has been sold by mistake (or bad stock management) then the store will have it's own policy - in your case refund and replacement. They should also send a message to the relevant manager to investigate why it happened. I think most of the big supermarkets do not normally sell OOD foods, they end up with specialist sellers like Approved Food.

'Sell by' dates are different, they usually are perishable foods such as yogurts or chilled ready meals, things like that. These cannot by law be sold past that date which is why so much ends up in the whoopies fridge. It is also why there is so much wasted as they cannot even pass it on to shelters or the homeless (the reasoning is sound, don't want to poison anyone however poor).

The law on these however may change in the near future as the goverment is looking into dates - no doubt to make it even more complicated and confusing
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Coopdivi
Old 30-07-2011, 1:36 PM
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Bracknell Forest Council have a page on their website which explains the use of best before and use by dates very well.

http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/e...fore-dates.htm

Your peanuts would have had a 'best before' date on them so the supermarket took the correct form of action.
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geordie joe
Old 30-07-2011, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay14 View Post
'Sell by' dates are different, they usually are perishable foods such as yogurts or chilled ready meals, things like that. These cannot by law be sold past that date
Are you sure? I thought "Sell by" dates were an internal store date, used for stock control, and they do not come under any law.


Think about it, you could buy an item with a "Sell by" date of today, then stick it in your fridge for 27 years and it would be ok because it was sold before it's "Sell by" date expired.

Sell by dates are there to tell the shop staff that the item needs to be gone before that date to make room for new stock. They have nothing to do with how long the item will last. (Apart from in the case of eggs, eggs is different).

Last edited by geordie joe; 30-07-2011 at 1:59 PM.
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mugwump
Old 30-07-2011, 2:08 PM
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Best before - advice that the quality may deteriorate after this date but no offence committed if items sold beyond this date
Use by - it is a criminal offence to sell an item beyond its Use By date
Sell By - Stock control purposes only. No offence of selling items beyond their sell by date
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Zoee
Old 12-08-2011, 6:06 PM
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@ JayJay14

Thanks for your reply

Very, very informative and grateful that you've let me and others know rather than having to wade through websites or books on my own to find out what you've summarised nicely

Not looking forward to the Law change.

If get a few lines of summary added to existing legislation, all good

If not, can I take any more rules and regulations since the change of Government? [GROAN] Have to wait and see suppose!

Zoee
==

@ Coopdivi
Thanks for replying and that website link

Looking at your recommended site, I liked the way they summarised the key points into a PDF for downloading as a remindar

Yes because the peanuts had the best before date is the reason for the refund. Surprised was on shelf that long though must say

Zoee
==

@geordie joe
Had to smile whilst reading your stick an item into my fridge for 27 years Was thinking it would be a good experiment to see how the peanuts would look and taste after been fridge for that length of time.

I find it interesting though that prior to the introduction of "sell by dates" and "best before dates" items like fruit especially etc didn't need any labelling Our noses and taste buds certainly didn't need to see a sell by date or best before date on anything that wasn't processed food once it had passed a certain date Nature let us judge for ourselves

Must say, I'm glad for the introduction of date labelling, I wouldn't have got my FREE item otherwise

Thanks for reading and replying

Zoee
==

@ mugwump
WOW

Your summary in two sentences sums up and answered this post question/vent

Thank you

Zoee

Last edited by Zoee; 12-08-2011 at 6:08 PM.
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