8 on Your Side: The facts behind expiration dates

LAS VEGAS - A valley woman discovered a local Walgreens was selling expired baby food. As 8 on Your Side found, however, the store did not do anything wrong.

Sheena Romandia contacted 8 on Your Side after making the discovery.

"I went to a local Walgreens to pick up some baby food. Later that night, when I fed it to my daughter who is five months old, she was refusing it. That's when I looked and saw the food was expired. So, I was wondering if it is legal for stores to sell expired food," she said.

It is legal to sell expired baby food or any food for that matter. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the only thing stores can't sell that is expired is baby formula, because the nutrients lose their potency over time.

Romandia bought expired apples and carrots, which is fine. What's not fine is that after Romandia told Walgreens about the expired food, the store took it off the shelves and put it back the next day.

8 on Your Side went to the store a few days later to investigate and found more expired baby food. When asked about the decision, Walgreens released a statement that said customer safety is a primary concern, and the company is reviewing procedures at the Walgreens where Romandia purchased the food.

The FDA, though, claims expired food is safe to eat. Food dating has only been around since the 1970s. Food dates only indicate freshness or when a food is at its peak. That means expiration dates don't mean the food becomes inedible.

For non-refrigerated foods, such as baby food, the FDA claims there is no difference in taste or quality of expired food. Refrigerated foods, such as eggs, are good three to five weeks after expiration dates.

Use by and best buy dates indicates peak freshness. They do not indicate spoilage or that that the food stops being edible after the date.

Sell by dates are only for manufacturers and retailers. A sell by date is a stocking and marketing tool.

If you have a problem you want investigated, contact 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.

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