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‘Buyer beware’: Expired food products found on shelves and for sale at local Family Dollar

DANVERS, Mass. — A Family Dollar store going out of business had several expired food products on its shelves.

Boston 25 found nearly a dozen items inside the Danvers Family Dollar on Archmeadow Dr. with “best-by” or “sell-by” dates that had passed several weeks or months earlier. The labels showed some of the products expired in 2023.

Family Dollar did not respond to multiple emails requesting comment. A store manager told a Boston 25 News reporter Monday the expired products shouldn’t have been on the shelves.

Some of the expired products discovered by Boston 25 Thursday include:

  • Ragu spaghetti sauce “best if used by” Aug. 10, 2023
  • Red Baron frozen pizza “best by” Dec. 31, 2023
  • Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Super Moist Cake Mix “best is used by” Jan. 8, 2024
  • Pearl Milling Company pancake and waffle mix “best before” Jan. 13, 2024
  • Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl with a “use by” date of Jan. 28, 2024
  • Salad dressing bottle “best when used by” Jan. 31, 2024
  • Toast’em Pop-Ups toaster pastries “best if used by” Feb. 15, 2024
  • Deli shaved over roasted turkey breast with a “use by” date of Mar. 5, 2024

After Boston 25 showed the store manager a few of the expired products, he removed them from the shelves and referred us to Family Dollar’s corporate office. The manager was later seen that night checking various items one-by-one inside the store.

According to a section on the state’s website for the Massachusetts Food Protection Program, foods may be sold after the sell-by” or “best-if-used-by” date if the following conditions are met:

  • It is wholesome and good quality.
  • The product is segregated from food products that are not “past date,” and the product is clearly marked as being “past date.”

Boston 25 didn’t find any signs or markings inside the Danvers store that would let consumers know the products were past their sell-by dates. The Danvers Public Health Dept. did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Some Family Dollar shoppers said they were surprised expired food products were being sold.

“I saw a lot of food in there that’s expired or is ready to expire tomorrow,” said Topsfield shopper Bernie D. “Food should not be compromised. It should be up-to-date. The ‘sell-by date,’ I mean that’s public health.”

“Somebody should be here to monitor [sell-by dates] in the store,” Peabody shopper Greg Ciulla said. “If they’re not conscientious, there’s no recourse [for the consumer]. It’s ‘buyer beware.’”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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