It's funny that the outcry over expired products on the shelves of Dominick's came right after the company's sudden and unheralded decision to stop taking expired coupons. It's almost like the shoppers said, "You won't take our expired coupons? Then we're not going to buy your expired food anymore!"
Here are the latest developments:
- The Chicago Tribune published a story about customers finding a lot of expired products in their suburban Chicago stores. Dominick's provided a statement for the piece: "While expiration dates on food products are largely based on quality, not food safety, that does not diminish the fact that we are displeased with the out-of-date products found at our stores. This is not indicative of how we do business. A high-level and highest-priority team has been assembled to immediately address these issues."
- Jill Cataldo sparked this thing off with a photo-documented trip last week where she and two helpers found 425 expired products in two hours. Now she posted a trip to a different location, where she found 336 expired products in just one hour. Then, Jill posted reports from her many readers that employees at Dominick's stores all around the area are busy pulling expired products off the shelves.
Wow -- I'm impressed at this action on behalf of consumers brought about by cooperation between a blogger and the media.
I have to confess, personally -- I don't care that much about expired products. OK, it depends. I don't really want to buy frozen food that's past its date because I know it starts to degrade in texture and quality. But if the product is a box of macaroni and cheese? I wouldn't think twice about tucking in. I mean, what's going to happen to it?
That said, we bargain shoppers with our stockpiles should be particularly vigilant not to buy product that's been sitting on the shelf so long, since we may be storing it in our own homes for another year. So maybe I should care, huh?
- Finally, after days of silence on the Facebook page Dominick's management posted a statement addressing all the issues raised by customers recently. They assure customers that "a team has been assembled to immediately check product dates at every store."
That's the good news. The bad news from that Facebook post? "We have just updated our policy to state as clearly as possible that we do not accept expired coupons." Yep, and here is the updated policy.
Last time I shopped at Dominick's, about a week ago, my local store was still pushing expired coupons past the register's objections. Now that it's official, I'm expecting local stores to eventually stop accepting them. If you have any reports as you hit Dominick's this weekend, please post them in the comments section.