A few times a year I take stock of what’s in the pantry, culling those items that we just don’t use.  This time I happened to notice two cans which were beyond their expiration dates.

That got me wondering, “Does the expiration date really matter?”

Rather than just discarding the cans, I looked on the side panels and took the time to call each manufacturer and discuss this topic.  The first company, Western Family, was not very responsive.  When I finally reached the right person, she said that she’d research the answer and get back to me.  No response ever came.

The second company, Ocean Spray, has a consumer affairs department.  The operator took the bar code and other appropriate information, then put me on hold.  When she came back on the line, she let me know that the cranberries did not have any preservatives, so I should not eat them.  Instead, the company would send me a coupon to buy a new can.  This was an unexpected surprise.

5 days later a letter appeared with the coupon.  I am a “won over” customer.

How will I avoid this dilemma in the future?  Before reaching for that packaged grocery item, which seems like such a good deal at the time, I’m going to check the expiration date and make sure that it’s not too time sensitive.  Then, and only then, will I put it in the cart.

What about you?  Do you check expiration dates?  Have you ever thought about it?  Go ahead.  Do it right now….

Remember, if I can do it, you can too.

Susan Levy
Publisher, Well-Fed Heart

This week’s featured recipe:

Salmon Enchiladas