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I do care about ‘use-by’ dates, but the rules for ‘expiration’ dates in Japan are so strict that I don’t mind if they are a week or so out of date.

13 Comments

Mika Onodera, 44, a company employee in Iwate Prefecture. She uses Kuradashi, a company based in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward, that sells about 3,300 products online, including food products nearing their expiration dates, at low prices.

© Asahi Shimbun

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13 Comments
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One of the biggest scams in world is the best before date for many food products. Causes huge amount of food waste for no good reason. Not sure what people from other countries are like, but I feel most Japanese are super strict about these! Good for this company and this lady!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

"Strict" can be presented as a concern for health but, of course, it is mainly a concern for boosting sales. But it is surprising to me how persuasive these dates are for many consumers. I mean, even beer in a can or bottle!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

MarkXToday  07:57 am JST

One of the biggest scams in world is the best before date for many food products. Causes huge amount of food waste for no good reason. Not sure what people from other countries are like, but I feel most Japanese are super strict about these! Good for this company and this lady!

YES! Yes! Been saying exactly this to my wife for nigh on 25 years. And thinking it for many more. Food that is left on a shelf for weeks or months suddenly goes off because of a printed date, or because I bought it, and left it in a cupboard? I don’t think so.

I absolutely see no problem with if it’s tinned food and years out of date. It’s cooked and sealed at high temperature. Dried food like cereals may go stale, but still edible. Tea and coffee is no problem if still sealed.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

A medical expert wrote an article a few years back about expiry dates for drugs and other healthcare products like sunblock, which are often 2 years after they're made. The gist is that it is nearly always ok to keep using, although the active ingredients may see some faded efficacy.

My 15 year sunblock from Canada (where prices are waaaay cheaper than Japan) works just as well now as when it was new. I'd also have a hard time sleeping at night when having a cold or flu without my 10 year old drowsy inducing cold medicine from Canada.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Agree best before dates are a scam, use your senses, they will tell you is food is fit or not. Many supermarket products in the UK no longer have these dates on them. I never payed attention to them but used common sense and the senses we evolved with.

Other products may suffer a degree of diminution of effectiveness but that does not necessarily render them ineffective.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

In Japan there are 2 designations.

One is Shouhi Kigen 消費期限 meaning the expiration date for consumption.'

The other is Shoumi Kigen 賞味期限 meaning "best if consumed by".

While the former may be a concern depending on the product, the latter can be effectively ignored.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Agree pretty much. The only time I get food poisoning is when I eat out.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good on this woman. I think more people should be doing this kind of things, or shops allowed to sell goods past the best-before date (so long as it's made clear the date has passed, like in a small bargain bin in the shop). Not doing so is why Japan is the biggest food waster in the world, especially ready-made foods, breads, and other products at supermarkets and convenience stores (depending on what's in them they are still in fine condition to sell).

garypen: "I can understand that with canned, jarred, and most dry goods. But, I don't like to go much past the dates on fresh meat, fish, and dairy products."

Well, we're talking more about "best-before" dates and not "expiry" dates, which you should not ignore... or not by much anyway. Using a can of soup well past the date should be no problem at all so long as the can has no rust, indentations, swelling, or leaks/openings. Likewise, why on earth would salt or packaged tea be any worse now, unopened, then before it's best before date?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ssshhh!! It’s gonna be hard to find the 50%+ discounts if you tell too many people this.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Link?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can understand that with canned, jarred, and most dry goods.

But, I don't like to go much past the dates on fresh meat, fish, and dairy products.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The real problem is that Japanese shops will bin goods after sell by is up.

So much food waste in Japan…

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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