I want everyone out there to know this... I am also going to try to contact the main company office. I was in Big Lots yesterday when a clerk was marking a whole cart of name brand tooth paste and throwing them into another cart. I ask them what they were doing with this, as I thought they were marking it down.
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Unfortunately I see this happening a lot where I work. Companys, especially food retailers, have to abide by Health & Safety regulations. Ultimately it is for the protection of the consumer. Yes it does seem like a terrible waste when much of the goods are probably still fine to use but it would be breaking the law to sell these items once they've passed their expiry dates. Consumers wouldn't hesitate to complain, and more, if any harm were caused by expired products.
I've heard the same thing about Walmart. And yes, unfortunately, it is the law that they must be tossed out. The same goes with returned products. If you bring a food product back, even if unopened, it gets tossed, cannot go to employees, missions, nothing...but straight into the landfill.
This IS a sin.
Is there something we can do? Probably not because, as someoe already said, lawsuits are the norm and invariably someone will claim that they have been injured by an outdated product.
Unless laws are changed, nothing will be done....
The store was doing the correct thing in throwing away out of date items, sometimes chemicals change in products after the expiration date and are not safe to use. Please take note of this, don't use anything out of date. The best thing to do is buy toothpaste or anything else you put in your mouth or on your body is buy natural, for instance Spry toothpaste made with xylitol, it says on the tube it is safe if swallowed. Does yours?
This makes me so angry.
Also I am so unhappy when I see charity shops in the UK throw a lot of books, for example, in the garbage, because they are not new enough to sell. I would love to read some of those old books, and so would a lot of other people.
People make donations in good faith, hoping to share. The charity shop staff think that the donations are not good enough.
If they are out of date, the safest thing is to toss them out. I shop at a salvage grocery store a lot, but I stopped buying the out of date items there after my mom showed me a newspaper article about a young man who died after eating brownies his mom had made from an out of date brownie mix. Apparently there is a fungus that can grow in cake mixes after the preservatives loose their ability to preserve the food, and the fungus can be deadly. That's just one example of how out of date food items can be unsafe to use.
Many things may not be as potent as before they expired, but I highly doubt that toothpaste turns poisonous after the expiration date. If it's that dangerous, it shouldn't be in there at all at any time!
We live in a sue happy society besides a chemical producing country. Products that have expiration shouldn't be used especially because of the chemicals added. What if you used that toothpaste and it had a product in it that over expired and caused you a chronic illness.
We're not talking about YEARS over the date. I just can't believe that I could use toothpaste on Tuesday and on Wednesday it would kill me.
I dont think you should penalize the stores for this/they are following the laws. Im all for a bargain, but dont want anything that may potentially cause harm. On another note, there are shelters/thrift stores/churches all over America that are wise to this game, and frequent stores to cash in on some of these things.
There are laws and regulations about disposing of out of date products.
I spoke with a rep from a company once and she said the rules were, frequently, arbitrary.
Use your own best judgement.
If it smells weird or tastes funny, throw it out. If it's really old, throw it out.
As for that young man who ate the out of date brownie mix, it smelled odd and his friends wouldn't even eat it because of the smell. Where was his common sense?
I actually took the time to read this on snopes.com because so many people have commented about it.
I am going in circles with a few HUGE companies about this same thing. I get sick seeing all of the waste. Walmart and such places toss literaly 1,000s of lbs of usable products every week. I contacted congress woman Sue Myricks office and was assured that it is totally legal to GIVE away out of date food and such. It falls under the "Good Samaritan Act". AS lng as the person or company gives food in good faith ,the they are proected.How many of us have at least one out of date item on our shelves. LOL..I have quiet a few myself. I wish knew how to circulate an email petition to someone. Maybe they would set up a take notice. To many ppl are doing without and would love to have their wasted items. Take care ! & Tanks for caring! JAN
I've worked for several major retailers over the years. All of them threw stuff away with alarming regularity. Videos, video games, VCRs, books, magazines, greeting cards, calendars, fabric, notions, scissors, food, furniture, clothing, etc. I know dumpster diving is illegal, but I've done it. I also don't understand why companies don't donate the non-food items. Why not get a tax write off instead of throwing away an item of furniture? It also bugs me that that most of these companies will not let the employees take the stuff that they throw away. It's going to the landfill, why not let me take it home?
Bonnie, Most perishable products DO have a shelf date. This means that some ingredient of the product may be contaminated after a certain length of time and it is against the law to sell them after the expiration date. It is the same with any product that has an expiration date, and Big Lot or any other store that sells dated products HAVE to dispose of them to keep customers from getting sick from spoiled ingredients. It's not the stores fault. It's the law. Marie K
Julia in the UK:
I agree with you wholeheartedly about shops, and charity shops at that, throwing out books! Many, many people have a need for out-of-prints and I really cannot imagine throwing out old friends just because they are old!!! I would surely not donate to a charity shop with that kind of policy.
I am currently using local food pantries. I have only been able to get one small tube of toothpaste for the past 3 months for a family of three. Pantries would gladly take the toothpaste at Big Lots. From talking to the people who run the pantries, alot of stuff gets thrown away because the employees are too lazy. It is easier to just dump it than to box/bag it, call a local organization, talk to a couple of people maybe once or twice and wait for someone to pick it up!
As for the doing the right thing and the LAW about expiration dates, most EVERYTHING I get is expired. The only exception are items such as canned vegetables and jams or peanut butter that is packaged expressly for food banks.
The oldest item I recieved was just 2 days ago- a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese - dated DECEMBER 1998!!!!!!!!! Yes, it's in the trash.
If you ever donate food to a pantry, please only donate items that aren't expired. So many people go thru their cabinets and only pull the old stuff. If that is all the food panty gets by way of donations, that is all that they can donate.
Thanks for listening....
When I was younger (72 now) a friend and I would go dumpster diveing at the stores like Big Lots, Target etc. We found that they threw out so many things that were still new n useable. Alot of this stuff went to shelters and that and yes I will confess into a yard sale. I still have a wandering Jude that I rescued 15 years ago in a KMart bin. I just wish I could still do it.
All above is true - but the point is that too much is throw away to clog the landfill when with a little bit of extra effort it could be recycled. We lived in an apartment complex where I would cruise the dumpsters before garbage day - and I furnished our whole patio with recycled stuff! I have found a lot of furniture out on the street - including vintage stuff I could sell for a profit! We Americans are far too wasteful. Please think before you toss something - take it to a thrift shop, or have them pick it up - so that it can be used!
Toothpaste? I just heard on the news this morning that some toothpaste made in China may have the same problems that the pet foods had. I know retailers throw out a lot of stuff, but in this case, I think I'd check with the Big Lots store manager to see what the real reason was for throwing the stuff out.
I totally agree with you. I have a friend who worked at the Publix grocery in the meat department and he told us that Publix throws away dozens of pounds of meat products EVERY day due to their "promise" of having the "freshest meat in town." They don't even throw it into a dumpster. They have their workers DESTROY it so no one can have it. This is a horrible waste in these times of need and I think this practice needs to stop. We need to come together as a People and demand our government put an end to this. I'm willing to sign a petition!
Whatever! It could have turned rancid and killed the next kid that used it. In corporate america, companies do what is best for the masses. I understand not wasting, I have expired stuff, that I CHOOSE to "risk" using....but that's a chance I take. I know the retail scene and sadly some people need to be saved from themselves(myself included). AND P.S. I hope I am not ruffling any feathers(though I always do) but I CERTAINLY HOPE every person that complained about this RECYCLES ALL THAT THEY CAN, otherwise you are worse than them. I am talking: everything plastic, glass, paper, cardboard...the regulars. And of course bring clothing and misc. items to thrift shops, restores....etc, or find another way to reuse at home. Recycle your motor oil, and compost your food. There's more but you get my point. It's so easy to throw insults instead of thinking of ways to help.
I learned recently that at least at some bookstores they tear the front covers off of perfectly good paperbacks that didn't sell and send them back to the manufacturer for some kind of credit. The rest of the book they throw away. From what I've heard there are some reasons why they can't give them away but it just doesn't make sense to me!
The discussion can be divided into two parts. 1. Out of date food. I understand not wanting to give and/or consume this...but...2. Non-pershable items that can be used or given away is a sin and shows how wasteful America is. I was in a store one day and a lady was cutting dressmaker patterns into and throwing them away. I asked why they could not donate them to a school or something and she said they had to cut them up and discard them.
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