MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


What are laws about product sell-by dates?

Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 18:54:50-05

JJ Wilkerson was shopping at the outlet mall when she decided to stock up on Goldfish crackers at the Pepperidge Farm Bakery outlet.

But when her daughter bit into them...

"She quickly as children do, cause they have no filters, said these taste funny, these don't taste the same,” Wilkerson said.

She checked the bag and couldn’t believe what she saw!

"December 14th, 2019,” Wilkerson said. “They were about 35 days old, past the sell by date.”

So she called Pepperidge Farm.

"They told me that they are allowed to sell past the sell by date, because it is just a recommended date,” Wilkerson said.

So what are the laws when it comes to selling expired bakery products? We checked with the FDA and learned that despite what many people believe, there are no laws.

The government says:

“Except for infant formula, product dating is not required by federal regulations.”

And it says a sell-by date "is not a safety date..." just a suggestion.

A Pepperidge Farm spokeswoman, meantime, told us "it is not standard to sell expired product in our stores"

And offered a refund.

But legally, they can do it, leaving JJ with a tip for other parents.

"So make sure, yes, that you do check your dates, that you don't waste your money,” JJ said.

The same rules apply to supermarkets as well: they can sell food past the sell by date.

So check the date before you buy … so you don't waste your money.