business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports on a study done by a Chicago coupon blogger, Jill Cataldo, in which she claims to have found 761 products being sold at a Dominick’s past their expiration dates - with some of the dates going back to 2008. And the complaint, based on two shopping trips to Dominick’s, has generated a number of complaints on Dominick’s Facebook page.

Dominick’s, owned by Safeway, issued the following statement yesterday: "While expiration dates on food products are largely based on quality, not food safety, that does not diminish the fact that we are displeased with the out-of-date products found at our stores. This is not indicative of how we do business. A high-level and highest-priority team has been assembled to immediately address these issues."

According to the story, “With the exception of baby formula, sale of foods or medicines that have expired aren't prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Also, the U.S. government does not require dates on most packaged-food items. Exceptions are infant formula and some baby food. The only requirement is that if a date is used, it must contain a day, month and, in the case of shelf-stable products, the year, according to the federal Food Safety and Inspection Service. Adjacent to the date must be a phrase, such as a ‘sell by’ or ‘use before,’ explaining the date.”

The lack of federal guidelines is small comfort to the consumer contingent.

"There's a gross-out factor with it, definitely, as well as a quality factor," says Cataldo.
KC's View:
You can see a lot of the expiration dates at, and it is eye-opening.

I wish Dominick’s had been a little less equivocating in its statement, but at least they addressed it immediately. My feeling is that they need to make sure that the problem is fixed within 24 hours - every product on every shelf needs to be checked, and out-of-date products need to be pulled immediately.

And, BTW...every other store ought to do the same thing. because you know this isn’t just a Dominick’s issue. They just got the first blast of bad publicity ... and there will be a lot of reporters and bloggers visiting stores all around the country over the next few days, checking to see how pervasive the problem is.

Get busy, folks.