Can expiration dates have mistakes?

I have been buying Stonyfield organic yogurt for a few years now and never noticed any problems. However, in the last 6 months or so, I have had 3 incidences in which I noticed sometime after using that the container of yogurt I bought had an expiration date that dated to a week or more before I even bought it. The first time I noticed this, I threw away the rest of the container. The second time, I took a chance and was fine. I just noticed again today that this has happened to me again. However, I am extra concerned because it is August 11, and the container is dated for June 22. Is this a mistake in printing the date? I bought this a few days ago and have already eaten some, and I'm totally fine. There's no odor coming from it either. Anyone know why this is happening? 

9 Answers

  • 5 months ago

    It is a "best by" or "sell by" date, meaning that the producer thinks the product could start to go bad a week or so beyond that date.  It is't an expiration date.  If kept air-tight and in a cold refrigerator, yogurt can last a long time after the sell-by date.  

    The issue here is your grocery store, not the producer. The store is not moving stock fast enough and have not decided to discount products that are at or beyond the sell-by date.  You should feel free to bring this up with the manager at the store.  You can also just take the time to check the sell-by date.  Most stores stock product from the back, so containers deeper in the shelf probably have later sell-by dates.

  • 5 months ago

    thats not an expiration date, thats a best if used by date. Nothing spoils according to an  arbitrary calendar date. How the product is handled has more to do with that than anything else.

    You can tell if yogurt is spoiled; its usually moldy. I suggest your store is lax at arranging their food products and the store manager is who you should be telling this, not strangers on a goofy web site.

  • Expiration dates are estimations.  Nothing more, nothing less.

  • 5 months ago

    It isn't a mistake on the manufacturer's behalf, that is slackness from the store you are buying it from. Stores are supposed to follow a strict policy of 'first in first out' and often times this isn't the case as it is much easier and quicker for the employees to just cram things on the shelf just to get the job done. Always check the 'best by' dates of the foods you are buying as this is a very common thing to have happen.

    Also, no food has an expiration date, they are only 'best by' dates. 

    One more thing. Even if yogurt goes past that date, it is still good for a long time as, lets face it, it is already curdled milk. How much worse is it going to get?

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  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Even if it's a true hard and fast don't eat (much) after this date because the health dept tested and found meat will grow dangerous levels of bacteria 5 days after being taken out of frozen shipping and storage in the store, that still varies depending on conditions. In my fridge the meat bin that keeps meat in a semi-frozen Twilight zone can last a week after the date or more. But if a customer piled bags of shrimp a ft over the top of the fridge display, leaving the shrimp open to the 69 degree store air, that will be bad and in fact kill you in hours. Other items vary. Smoked cheese and some sauces say "refrigerate to preserve freshness."

    I've seen salad dressing 3 years out of date turn into a solid blob floating in green oil. Things do in fact decompose and make you sick but generally a few days after the printed date won't hurt you. Don't get to confident or you'll be eating botulism cans, blown out from cylindrical to spherical telling everyone "it's still good." Yes, I've really seen that too.

    Do an experiment yourself, save a little for another month and see if it's still good and has no odor.  

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    The date is not stamped incorrectly; you are not looking at the date when you purchase the container at the store. If you care, be more careful when you shop, because your grocery stock clerk obviously doesn't care.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Food doesn't “expire” so there will be no “expiration date”. What there should be is a “best before” or “use by” date.

    There is no reason at all why a shop would not sell something that has already passed these dates except that most customers wouldn't be silly enough to buy them - that's the idea of dating food like this: customers can check that it's still fresh and will last until they intend using it BEFORE they buy it.

    Why would you buy something with a best before or use by date that had already past?

    Once you have a dairy product like yogurt these dates don't really matter because it's quite obvious when you look at, smell and taste the it whether or not it's still in good condition.

  • 5 months ago

    Your food doesn't rot the day of the expiration date. Those are usually just there to protect the seller in case someone gets sick

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    The expiration dates assume the product is handled correctly. What you have been experiencing may be due to just the opposite. The yogurt may have sat out on a loading dock for a few hours in 100 degree heat, there may be a problem in the manufacturing process that no one caught, a variety of things.  Despite all the safe guards in effect, it Does happen. 

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