After shopping, one comes home and begins to remove all the products and food from the bag. When storing them in the fridge or pantry we realize that one of them is expired. What should we do then? Do we eat it if it’s only a couple of days? Do we throw it away and don’t give it more importance? You might like to know that if this happens to you, you can exercise your rights as a consumer and claim for that food that is not in perfect condition. And it is that, believe it or not, eating it can have dire consequences for the health of your stomach. Or even more serious.
But before explaining step by step what should you do in this type of situationLet us detail what the expiration date, the best before date and if there are products that, even expired, can be eaten with complete peace of mind.
When does a food expire and who decides that date?
The expiration date is not the same as the preferred consumption. We explain the difference to you. In the first case, it refers to that moment (a certain day or a month) until which that food can be safely consumed. A date that is based on the manufacturer’s directions. For example, as they remember from the OCU (@consumers), this occurs especially in those foods that are perishable and have a higher risk of bacteria, not recommended as the days go by. That is, raw and fresh meat and fish, especially.
If, for example, we have bought this type of product and we see that that stipulated day is close and we are not going to eat it, the best thing is freeze them. Of course, this is not a magic trick, since once removed from the freezer you must consume them within 24 hours Or you’ll go back to the beginning
What if it has expired in my fridge for a couple of days or weeks? Nothing happens, that’s how they reassure us from the Consumer and User Organization, as long as when tasting them they do not taste bad. This occurs in specific cases, with yogurts, cookies, dry pasta or sausages that we have already acquired under vacuum.
Knowing this, we go on to explain the other concept. When we read that about Consume preferably before…, what this legend indicates is the limit up to which this product preserves all its properties (taste, smell, texture …) with the highest quality. That is, there is no microbiological risk as in the previous case.
Having all this clear enough, we will explain what happens with a related situation. What if, unconsciously, you buy a food that was already expired on a supermarket shelf.
What if I have bought it already expired?
A store or supermarket You cannot sell, by law, a product that is expired or out of date. If you do, you are incurring a Crime against public health, especially if you buy that food, you eat it and it harms your health. But if before preparing it you realize that the date is wrong, you can exercise your rights and file a claim.
Given this, the seller is obliged to change that food in poor condition for a similar one whose expiration date has not passed. Or also return the money of the amount of that purchase. It cannot be denied either if we ask for the claims sheet to record what happened, as well as our discomfort about it. To report to that store or manufacturer, the consumer has a period of about three months, which start counting from the day you took that product home.
Once done and if we know for sure that that establishment continues with this fraudulent practice, we can file a complaint or claim with a Municipal Consumer Information Office or an association of the same type. Complaint that may even be brought to the attention of the corresponding health department to your autonomous community. For example, from the Community of Madrid (@CommunityMadrid) recall that in terms of food safety we must also claim “if these products are in poor condition, there are foreign bodies, the label is of dubious legality or that establishment does not comply with adequate hygienic and sanitary measures.”
The safest thing is that they will ask you for proof of that “accusation”, so it is recommended that you contribute everything you have: tickets shopping, photographs, videos … Even if we have suffered an intoxication, it is good attach the medical report. In short, a graphic material that can be used for that competent administration in consumer matters act in various ways:
- Starting a sanctioning file against the food retailer that has sold you that product, even knowing that the expiration date had passed.
- Carrying out a consumption and health inspection to check what is sold and how in that supermarket or store.