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Skymark Airlines under fire for selling items past their expiration dates to passengers

25 Comments

Skymark Airlines has been selling food item past their expiration dates by one month or more, Japanese media reported Monday.

According to Skymark officials, on July 29, a total of 8 Cup of Ramen packages, all 90 days past their expiration date, were discovered to have been sold during in-flight meals on planes traveling from Haneda airport to Naha.

Following an investigation of other flights around the same time, Skymark admitted that a total of 26 Cup of Ramen and condensed soup packages with expiration dates long past, may have been sold to passengers aboard their planes, TV Asahi reported.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism told reporters, "This was a truly basic mistake, one which has seriously jeopardized the health and wellbeing of Skymark passengers."

This most recent scandal is just one of several which the airline has faced in recent weeks, including the company having to pay over 70 billion yen in contract termination fees to Airbus in a still yet-to-be resolved contract deal.

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25 Comments
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Skymark airlines is long past its expiration date.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This could be the last straw (or ramen) for Skymark!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Skymark financial crisis despite massive liquidity by boj (?)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan needs to be careful, their once prestige pride of being safe and having the highest pride and quality is sadly coming more and more under scrutiny of how safe a lot of foods we in Japan really are. This not encouraging.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This hardly qualifies as a scandal. Cup ramen is dried and sealed. I doubt there was any difference in quality. But the condensed soup, that's another matter.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Cup ramen is terrible stuff from the day it is made. Is it any worse after expiry?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

90 days past the expiration date does NOT "seriously jeopardized the health and wellbeing of Skymark passengers". Most of these dates are "best eaten before " of freshness dates (賞味期限), and can be consumed safely well past the date. I think the spokesman for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is highly irresponsible for making such unfounded comments, especially since he/she is no authority on food.

Having said all this..WTF Skymark....I guess I need to sell my stocks because this company is truly going down the chute

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes, most expiration dates are supposedly a lot shorter than necessary, and I can't imagine instant ramen being any worse for you after the date. I guess the spokesman is talking about the general act of selling expired food, though. Maybe he suspects there is more?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't care about the food, just get me from point A to point B safely and cheap. I don't need wine and caviar on a two hour flight to anywhere in Japan. The general public is too hung up on expiration dates, I have ate cup noodles when they were molded on top from being stored too long on our boat with no ill effects, in fact I think they actually tasted better. The airlines that do serve "food" all get it from the same airport caterer who bid the lowest price for the contract...think you are getting quality ingredients there?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

90 days past the expiration date does NOT "seriously jeopardized the health and wellbeing of Skymark passengers". Most of these dates are "best eaten before " of freshness dates (賞味期限), and can be consumed safely well past the date. I think the spokesman for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is highly irresponsible for making such unfounded comments, especially since he/she is no authority on food.

Heck, why then have labels on ANYTHING if we are to disregard them, let's just all play Russian Roulette then.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't care about the food, just get me from point A to point B safely and cheap. I don't need wine and caviar on a two hour flight to anywhere in Japan. The general public is too hung up on expiration dates, I have ate cup noodles when they were molded on top from being stored too long on our boat with no ill effects, in fact I think they actually tasted better. The airlines that do serve "food" all get it from the same airport caterer who bid the lowest price for the contract...think you are getting quality ingredients there?

Yeh, but these are items they are actually selling and most-likely overpriced, not the food included in you flight. So it is pretty terrible to sell expired items, harmless or not.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Yeh, but these are items they are actually selling and most-likely overpriced, not the food included in you flight. "

To be honest - most of the items on Skymark menu -and there aren`t that many ) are not overpriced at all. I,m happy to pay 200 yen for a cup of coffee if my ticket costs 30% less than the Shinkansen equivalent.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, but, cup noodles do not have an 'expiry date'. They have a 'best before' date. I invisage people digging up cup rhamen hundreds of years on the future and it will still be ok to eat. Freeze dried food does not go bad. It is full of yummy chemicals to keep it alive. Japanese people are very paranoid about use-by dates. My ex-wife used to throw away steak cos the use-by date was tomorrow, even though it had been in the meat keeper at a constant temperature. I guess she'd never heard of 'aged steak'. If it doesn't have mould on it and it smells ok just eat it! If it's cheese, just cut the mould off and get into it! However, this company should not be serving foods that have passed their 'best before' dates. They should be donating it to high schools. ;-)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan, as a professed "mottainai" society, still hasn't come to terms with it's huge food wastage, with the obssession over expiry / best by dates exemplifying this.

As bad a marketing / reputation decision it was by Skymark, the food(???) in question would hardly have been dangerous.

This press beat-up smacks of BigBoyz (jal etc) pressure.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Last I fly with them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@bass4funk

I agree that it's unethical to distribute food that is beyond the so called "freshness date", but my main point is to criticize the ministry of transport for calling it "dangerous" when its not. This type of false information from a government official could cause a public panic from passengers who may think that they were poisoned my Skymark Airlines and is extremely irresponsible. If I were an executive at Skymark, I would demand an apology for making such an ignorant comment.

The reality is that our society is extremely spoiled and we have the tendency to throw out perfectly good edible food because some food manufacturers say that they lose their "freshness" after a certain date. It's utter marketing nonsense, designed so that the consumers eat the food quickly and buy more. Dry foods, canned foods, bottled water, etc, can last indefinitely if stored correctly and yet they have the stupid expiration date . Water expire? Really? Water has been on this planet for billions of years!! That's why all of these food items are used in fall out shelters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No matter the food might have not worsened, they are not supposed to sell it (even with best before designation).

But come on - I don't think it was deliberate! Only 26 cups? Probably a human mistake - simply someone didn't check the dates. He will be punished eventually - hardly a scandal...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the larger concern is that this airline doesn't have an adequate system to stop exired food from being sold. Whether it's reasonable or not, it begs larger questions about aircraft maintenace etc. If this was a bus company, it wouldn't be such a big deal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan SURE is getting into food scandals involving past-expiration date sales of late... not that it didn't happen a whole lot before with large companies, and that's not even touching on mislabeling.

Still, there's a HUGE difference between 'expiration' dates and 'best before' dates, and given that it was instant ramen I doubt very, very much that there was anything to worry about in terms of safety (that is, moreso than normal in relation to such foods). This is more of an issue of unprofessionalism and possibly ethics.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I ate a cup ramen a year past it's sell by date and didn't notice anything different at all. Still around and kicking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they had expiration dates on those rolls that come with airline meals I bet they would be at least a few months past them...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Give me a cheaper rate and I will eat expired Cup Noodle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I ate a cup ramen a year past it's sell by date and didn't notice anything different at all. Still around and kicking.

Sell by date would be just that, a sell by date. That is different from an expiry date.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Begs the question, was the cup noodles in the original package and if so, why did the imbiber not notice the dates? We are all getting outraged after the fact... in spite of the fact that no one was injured or made sick. Shoganai.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No story here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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