Big 99 Cent Store Fined $13,225 For Cutting Dates Off Boxes Of Expired Toothpaste

Expired items are lurking on store shelves. A Fox5 investigation followed around the Nassau County’s Office of Consumer Affairs and found evaporated skim milk and diabetic medicine on the shelf that expired over a year ago. At a dollar store, they found the manager was cutting the expiration dates off boxes of expired toothpaste and still selling them. The Stop and Shop was fined $1450 for selling expired goods, the dollar store, $13,225 for 529 items. Don’t forget to check the expiration date, the store, or the Consumer Affairs Office, isn’t always going to do it for you.

Expired Items [FOX5]

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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    The Free Market @ it’s best folks.

  2. timmus says:

    Talk about a slap on the wrist.

  3. theblackdog says:

    The next time I go to Giant (the same company owns the Stop and Shop stores) I’m going to be checking every single label now.

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I always thought it was perfectly legal to stock expired goods, and that it was up to the customer to read the dates.

    If I want to offer expired Frosted Flakes for sale, I don’t see the legal issue. Of course, if it is something that in being expired could cause harm to the customer, I can see a problem…but it still seems like it would fall on the customer to read the date on what they purchased.

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @theblackdog: See, I don’t get this. Do people really NOT check the expiration dates of the times they buy?? I mean, even if you aren’t concerned about things being past the expriation date, wouldn’t you check to see how fresh something is? If I’m buying, say chips, I’d rather buy something that expires in 6 weeks than 2 weeks.

  6. Hanke says:

    I can understand some grocery items past their expiration dates, but I refuse to purchase anything from a 99c store. They have crap that Wal-Mart rejected.

    But on that note, aren’t there wholesale grocery stores (I saw it on Nightline!) that sell past-their-date goods to consumers knowingly?

    [abcnewsstore.go.com]

  7. mgy says:

    I consider myself a pretty intelligent guy….and I um, don’t know how to phrase this for fear of being made fun of…but, um…

    toothpaste expires?

  8. Hanke says:

    @AlteredBeast: I think there are laws that cover only pharmaceuticals and dairy products, but nothing else.

  9. Hanke says:

    @mgy: It’s not that it expires, but that he flavor and/or potency of it is reduced. But because it’s considered an OTC Drug, it’s subject to different regulation than say, Cheerios.

  10. OK, does anyone see the even bigger problem? People were buying packages with holes in them. That would be a huge red flag to me.

  11. Snarkysnake says:

    Just my two cents but…

    I think that the expiration date on some products is pretty irrelevant.(Toothpaste,for instance). A lot of the ingredients in stuff like that don’t go dangerously bad on midnight of the sell- by date. Yeah,it can affect taste sometime or color,but as long as you don’t use something years and years out of date,it might not kill you. The date on stuff thats pretty shelf unstable (like any soft drink with aspartame in it) should be left for the next guy.I am much more concerned about the products point of origin than when it was made. Having been to China (Red China),I wouldnt use anything from there that I could reasonably avoid.

    Just my two Yuan…

  12. @Snarkysnake:

    Everything seems to be made in China or Mexico these days.

    I just read the label on my bag of M&M’s ….. Mexico.

    How nice.

  13. ChuckECheese says:

    @mgy: I bet Crissy the coupon-clipper knows a thing or two about expired toothpaste.

    Dollar Tree stores advertise that they do not sell expired or nearly-expired goods, and from what I’ve seen, that is true.

    @Hanke: There are stores that sell all manner of culled, damaged, abandoned and expired goods. I like to call them truck-wreck stores. They’re usually in random places, at least one store in a major city, and can be full of great deals. There’s a great one outside Death Valley of all places, selling discontinued (but not expired) meat and cheese supplied to Costco, random gourmet canned and packaged goods, and the occasional leaky bottle of hair conditioner.

  14. mammalpants says:

    dont ever believe anything you ever hear on fox, including crap like this. this is probably some ploy to help the toothpaste lobby.

  15. nutrigm says:

    There’s a reason why they sell for $0.99! lol

  16. Juggernaut says:

    @mgy: me too!
    @Hanke:


    + Watch video

  17. DamThatRiver says:

    “Uh, according to the “Mexican Council of Food”, this expired two years ago.”

  18. flidget says:

    I worked at a Stop and Shop in high school – some friends of mine in another department were buying food for themselves once and happened to find baby food that had expired a year and a half earlier. Foul.

  19. milk says:

    When I was cooking at my parents’ house, I noticed specks in their Rice-a-Roni. Turns out they were dead insects. My mom had just bought that box the day before, but it expired a year ago. :/

  20. BlackFlag55 says:

    Whoa. Day-um. That’s just wrong.

    Guy #1 – Do you trust the government to look after things like this?

    Guy #2 – I dunno. Let’s ask an Indian if he trusts the government.

  21. karmaghost says:

    @me and the sysop: What does that say about the nutritional content of Rice-a-Roni or the “intelligence” of the insects? They died surrounded by food? :P

  22. linbey says:

    This is why I NEVER go to dollar stores. Almost everything they sell that is food or food related is expired. It is how they can sell it so cheap. They buy it when it has about a month to go and then sell it dirt cheap. Personally I dont even use stuff if it is even CLOSE to the expiration date. For instance I wont drink milk 3 days before it expires. This is because they cant calculate to the exact day when it goes bad so I give my own buffer of different length depending on the product. Canned soup for instance gets pitched if its within 3 months of the expiration date. This way I know Im only eating edible food

  23. theblackdog says:

    @AlteredBeast: I think we’ve been so trained to check milk, eggs, and anything else perishable for their expiration date that we forget something as simple as a box of crackers have expiration dates as well.

  24. wring says:

    eeeeeeew! this is why i only buy detergent and/or cleaning stuff at 99 cent stores n such. oh wait i bought a pound of rice at big lots :(

  25. typetive says:

    I see expired stuff (and we’re talking years out of date) at the 99 Cent Only and even Von’s. I didn’t know that beyond things like dairy products & meat that grocery stores gave a damn. (And no, not all product codes have plainly visible expiration dates.)

    I bought Lifesavers that were well over 10 years old at the 99 Cent Only Store … twice.

  26. donkeyjote says:

    @AlteredBeast: One, they removed the expiration dates, leaving customers with no way of deciding if they wanted to willingly purchase expired goods, two, milk and medicine are regulated, that’s why.

  27. donkeyjote says:

    And this is why I never buy anything other then tools and hardware/computer parts at a dollar store. And maybe a Malta Goya…

  28. kyle4 says:

    @AlteredBeast: Did you not read the post? They were cutting off the expiry dates so the customer couldn’t see them.

    I’ve seen dollar stores do that before, and I just skip over the product. It’s because they’re so cheap.

  29. hossfly says:

    According to “my” USDA Inspector: It’s not against the law to sell something out-of-date.
    It IS against the law to remove/cover/tamper with the expiration dates on merchandise.
    As far as dollar/.99cent/salvage stores are concerned: it’s simply called BUYER BEWARE…..
    I far as “my” store is concerned; i would rather not have the reputation of selling ANYTHING that’s expired; either quit carrying the item or keep inventory very low.
    Just my humble…..

  30. Amelia Subverxin says:

    About ten years ago, I worked for Dominick’s right about the time they were bought out by Safeway. Those salads they serve in the deli? The expiration dates are on the packing cartons that they arrive in. The employees see the dates when they open the cartons, but once the salad is in the bowl, there’s no way to tell how old something is. One day, I threw out 5 lbs of antipasto salad because the next carton in the cooler had that day’s expiration date, and I had no idea how old the stuff in the counter was. I got yelled at for wasting the company’s money. I quit my job and refused to buy food there ever again.

  31. u1itn0w2day says:

    Tooth paste ‘can’ dryout if it’s been opened or the factory seal is gone.Recently I found an unopened tube of complimentry tooth paste from an old vacation 10 years ago and it was dried out.This was free which means it might have been free because it was already on the old side.

    That being said I’d rather get a discounted price on stuff I know is old but to purposely remove labeling and sell it at the same price as something that came in last week is unethical if nothing else.Our local dollar store sells boxes of old snack cakes that are little beat up or near the expiration date and only 1 time did I have something a little stale.But if you buy new in a supermarket the same box is 5$.So what a beat up box and maybe smashed cakes-for a dollar I’ll take a chance.

  32. Lambasted says:

    I have seen expired goods in grocery stores, which is why I always check expiration dates no matter where I shop. I used to bring it to the manager’s attention, but after I saw the same expired item still stocked after I had notified them about it days earlier, I decided that some grocers don’t care.

  33. TMurphy says:

    @linbey:

    I would think that any competent company would post an expiration date on all their products that is a few days BEFORE the expected expiration date, since they of course don’t want to put the exact date they think it’ll be and risk being wrong and the item falling in the hands of a lawsuit-happy customer. I’d trust milk to last a day or two past the date, assuming it has been well-refrigerated and hasn’t been open long. Of course, I pay extra attention to its condition just in case. Heck, putting an earlier date forces the store to sell or toss it sooner, meaning it has to be restocked more frequently, so companies would want to cut it short as long as their competitors are similar.

    I know some items that have expiration dates like 2 years away aren’t actually expected to expire by any specific date, but they just pick one since it’d be legal suicide to not have an expiration date.

  34. geoffhazel says:

    The dollar store I go to has breakfast cereal for a buck that normally sells for 3-4 dollars in the Safeway, and the dates (which I check) have plenty of time left to run. I love buying breakfast cereal for 25 cents on the dollar!

    Their cleaning products, however, are pure garbage, little more than colored water with look-alike labels. As is their shampoo.