My Rant on Expiration Dates

I recently ran out to the store because I didn’t have any ham to add to my split pea soup. I opted for the nearest grocery store, which is also the most crowded and most expensive.  I grabbed a package of diced ham, some fresh bread from the bakery and a few other things.

I had both kids in tow and all checkouts were busy, but we managed to get out of there and back home in time to finish dinner.  As I started to open the package I noticed the expiration date: May 12 2011.  Um, what?  That was over two weeks ago.  GRRRR!  I was so irritated that the one item I went to get was expired on the shelf.

Now, I understand that keeping a large inventory up to date is a lot of work for grocery stores.  And from time to time a few items may not get pulled right away.  But, I have to take exception with items in the meat area.  Meat is extremely perishable and stores are constantly marking down meat that is close to the package expiration date.  If it had only been a day or two expired I probably would have used it.  It was ham after all, fully loaded with nitrates and slow to go bad.  But two weeks?  That’s well beyond the my “gray area” for food expiration, especially for meat.

So what to do now?  Well, I saved that package in the fridge and I have considered taking it back to the store.  That’s really what I should do.  However, that is an extra trip to the store with two little kids.  Is it really worth the hassle?  I’ll have to check the receipt and see what I paid for my package of expired ham.

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