Food safety is very important to me.
I exercise extreme caution to thoroughly wash all of our fruits and vegetables, keep a clean food preparation area, promptly refrigerate leftovers, and clean out our refrigerator at least once every two weeks. Without exception, my mantra is, "When in doubt, throw it out!!"
It irks me to no end when I open a new bag of produce only to see that it has started to go bad. Or when a new loaf of bread sprouts mold spores after less than two days in our cupboards.
Last week, on the one day that I went out shopping, I purchased a 1/2 gallon of Naked All Natural Superfood. I only slightly balked at the $9.00 price tag for a 1/2 gallon of juice because I felt like my body needed green juice.
Yesterday, when I was out shopping at Target, I picked up a 1/2 gallon of orange juice. And why on earth I didn't check the expiration on either of these 1/2 gallons of juices before purchase - to this very moment eludes me because I am an expiration date checking QUEEN.
I pull out my Superfood green juice, and noticing that I still have 1/2 of a 1/2 gallon container remaining ... and remembering that we'll be gone for the next four days ... I decide that I need to drink ALL of this juice today. And then, I catch a quick glance at the expiration date and my mind reels for a moment when I see September 26, 2008.
Aren't we in OCTOBER?
I then look at the orange juice that I bought YESTERDAY and my mind reels more when I see that the expiration date is October 1, 2008. I look at the calendar, call my husband to confirm that I'm not caught in a time warp, and I fury hard.
Even though I bought these products at two different stores, and even though I have a laundry list of items to do before we head out of town for the next four days, I will be going back to both of the stores today ... with four small children in tow ... and tell them that although there is a responsibility on the consumer to check expiration dates and make an informed purchase, it is the ULTIMATE responsibility of the proprietor to insure that the food products that they have on their shelves are fresh and within date.
They certainly should not have food for sale that expired several weeks prior.
Then, once I'm really fired up, I plan to go by Trader Joe's on the way home and inquire why no one ever got back to me regarding the bug in my organic garbanzo beans.
Of course I don't have any of the receipts. But I'm hoping that the managers will figure anyone who comes in to their store with old juice and four small children is legitimate and not just looking for something to do.
Because there's always laundry.