Even though the US Department of Agriculture has done its best to convince us that carton of bone broth will be good until the next presidential election, there are still limits to what most of us will open and eat if the date stamped on the package has passed. But if we see something that's six years past the sell-by date, there's no way that we'd handle it as well as these professionals did.
A team of consumer product inspectors in Romania probably had to ignore their gag reflexes when they recently ventured into a store in the town of Baneasa. That's where they discovered 70 disgusting kilograms (154 pounds) of food that was several years beyond its expiration date, including chicken legs that expired in 2014, a pie that turned last year, and (oh dear) chicken meat that should've been sold in October 2011.
According to News.ro, that food was all confiscated and destroyed, and the owners of the store were fined €1,800 ($2,023). In a strange bit of synchronicity, Romania recently passed a regulation that requires all retailers to donate any food that hasn't been sold within three days of its expiration date.
As of Sunday, May 21, food brushing against its sell-by date has to be collected from store shelves and given to nonprofits, "city halls [that] support poor families," or they must be sold to "social enterprises" at 3 percent of their prices. (These organizations will then sell them to those who need them at 25 percent of their retail cost.) This idea isn't unique to Romania; last year, for example, a similar law passed in France, and a supermarket that sells only expired, damaged or un-Instagram-worthy foods opened in Copenhagen.
Romania Insider also reports that, in 2016, the country destroyed 15 million kilograms (33 million pounds) worth of food. When the country calculates this year's tally, hopefully the officials will remember that there were 154 pounds of rancid chicken that really needed to go. Nicely done, Food Police.