Check Those “Best By’ Dates Carefully

I used to never really pay much attention to the ‘best by’ dates on most food, with meat and dairy products being the notable exception. However, as my prepper stash has grown larger and I date everything to keep it organized, I check everything. While putting away some canned goods from a recent prepper haul, which are becoming increasingly more frequent, I noticed something odd. The dates on many of the new items made them older than the ones I already had. Instead of the dates placing the new cans to the back of the shelf, they were much closer to the front of the stash and sometimes the oldest I had. This was the same products and brands that I always buy and from 3 different retailers. So, why would the product currently on the shelf be older than items of the same brand that I had purchased months and even years before?

I have a friend who manages a discount store, part of a chain that purchases and sells items from other stores that are older models, older packaging or are getting close to their expiration dates. Read that last one again. This type of store normally has so much over stock that it is a challenge to get it all to the floor. However, he tells me his biggest challenge now is stretching the merchandise to look like they have more than they do and the product is simply not coming in as it used to. He said this really began when that ship blocked the Suez Canal back in March and has gotten progressively worse since. I have to draw the conclusion that product that the big retailers would normally liquidate due to its age is instead going to the shelf regardless.

Now, regardless of what the media says, regardless of some politician says, the supply chain issues are not getting better, they are actually getting worse. As of Nov. 17th, the most recent number I could find, there were 179 ships waiting to be unloaded and with CA’s recent attacks on the trucking industry, this number is likely to continue to grow. The media is not telling us the whole truth, not that it should be a surprise to anyone, but you need to plan accordingly. You may want to check those expiration dates before you put that item in the cart.

Forget hoping for the best, prepare for the worst, now.


  1. I had to laugh when I saw you write an article about Best By. One of my sons is a germaphobe and always checks the dates of food in our frig when he comes to visit. So on Saturday I was asked to make some tea with honey and I had to search for some honey. He yelled, “Stop Mom. How old is that honey?” I set it aside as it did look old. Then he began to read the label. “Mom it says, ‘Best by 2017’!” After having a few champagnes, it didn’t register what he was saying. I responded, “Best Buy doesn’t sell honey.” The kids laughed, but I still didn’t know what was funny. I really thought he was reading a store’s name and a date. I am guilty of never reading the expiration date except on meat and milk.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been noticing the same thing for a number of months. It seems to be most common with “store” brand products but I have seen it on some name brand products as well. I wondered about it and assumed it was related to supply chain issues but never had a good explanation. Thanks.
    Take care and God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW Very interesting! I work part time in a grocery store here. On Freight days! When we stock shelves with new freight we always pay attn to best by dates. CANNED good mostly! Because we always pull the shelved products off to put the new in back. And Ive seen it alot lately the new stuff expiration expires beforer the stuff on shelf. I will DEF be more aware now! TOMORROW is freight day in store here!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I could understand it the items were imported from out of the country, but within the US? That is strange, even with the so called “supply chain” issues.
    I mean, we don’t import canned corn, do we? unless it’s some kind of gourmet food.
    Items canned in this country should be on the shelves in a timely manner, but apparently, they’re not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Packaging plants are understaffed, distribution plants are understaffed, stores are understaffed and the trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers. If sleepy Joe get his mandates it will only get worse.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s