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Online Grocery Shopping with short use by dates?


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I have recently started doing online grocery shopping.

 

I am concerned that some of the products that I have received just have one day left before the use by date, last week this was for ham and two packets of bacon. What is an acceptable date to reject these products with a short use by date?

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Whilst it is not the driver's fault - I suggest you ask him to wait whilst you check the dates on your shopping and reject anything that is not acceptable. 

 

I too am getting fed up with finding foodstuff with just one or two days left to the 'use by date' If I wanted to shop every day, I would not shop online but take myself to the local farm shop or the Co-op !!. 

 

I suspect it is due to those who actually visit the store to shop are selecting the longer dates  (which I would do if I was to physically shop) leaving only the shorter dates for the pickers to put in the baskets for online shoppers. 

 

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Don't think the driver will wait around due to the covid situation and the time involved checking each item of a large order. Ideally it should be that 'use by' products should have at least three days left before they expire for any online purchase.

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Given the pressure drivers are under to meet a large number of deliveries, I'd expect them to make the drop and head off to their next customer.

 

Add in the Covid19 and pre-Christmas factors, the driver may be even less willing to wait for ANY reason.

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Isn't this an inherent problem with choosing to do grocery shopping over the internet?  (One of the reasons I don't do it is because I prefer to pick and choose my own items on the basis of quality and use by date).

 

If supermarkets find that shoppers who are physically present opt for longer use by date items over shorter ones, then they will inevitably have to use them to fulfill internet orders, otherwise they'll be stuck with a load of items that either have to go to waste or be sold at a large discount.

 

If you have no choice but to shop over the internet then yes, it could be a problem, but otherwise - don't buy food over the internet.

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Nothing wrong with buying over the internet, vast majority of customers get food with 2-3 days shelf life just same as in the shops, I still choose from the back of the shelves as that where the longest dates usually are.

 

The issue is with supply, for example bread wont be baked in store in time for a delivery before lunchtime, or the fruit n veg be at its optimum time because it has to be unloaded, checked and then fulfilled usually around 3am in the morning with limited staff.

 

Supermarkets on the whole are well prepared but there are some that to a certain extent got caught on the hop by competitors and as such as playing catch up with staffing levels, vehicles and infrastructure all of which costs money.

 

Most large supermarkets will make on average £1 profit from each delivery so is more of a good will service rather than a money making expertise.

Edited by jotty
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I’m fairly certain Tesco specifically note items that are short dated on the delivery note to allow you to reject them quite quickly. 
On this basis I doubt that they would specifically go for the short date items as they end up with more work by the time they not only refund the money, but also have to return the items to stock. In these days potentially scrap them too!

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On 20/12/2020 at 09:44, CraigMcK said:

I’m fairly certain Tesco specifically note items that are short dated on the delivery note to allow you to reject them quite quickly. 
On this basis I doubt that they would specifically go for the short date items as they end up with more work by the time they not only refund the money, but also have to return the items to stock. In these days potentially scrap them too!

It depends on stock and how good the picker is, like I have said they start at 3am and not all supermarkets have replenished stock by then so they will highlight it on the delivery note or email customers. In my experience 90% accept the food as they realise dates are always fluid and most food stays fresh well after the ones given.

 

On 20/12/2020 at 09:46, Manxman in exile said:

 

I don't think I've ever personally chosen a food item from a shop with a shelf life of only 2 - 3 days.

Must be very little in your larder then, most fresh bread products for example have 24hr or 2 day shelf life.

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I don't think the pickers even look at dates.  Drivers will wait, they have to wait much longer these days anyway because you have to unpack the food direct from crates rather than just lift out bagloads.  I'm not prepared to pay for carrier bags so the driver has to wait while I empty every plastic crate of loose goods.

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The picking device they use highlights dates and then it will update the invoice automatically and also prevent the pick completing if there are issues so the picker has to take alternative otherwise they cant move on.

 

As regards drivers its been the same for months and they are allowed more time for deliveries by the system whilst some people check. I had some who cleaned and wipe all their shopping including sealed items whilst i waited. Never a problem and didn’t ever delay next delivery in my experience.

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Use by dates are there for the customer, it doesn’t mean the food is unsafe and many items now have sell by dates rather than use by.

It’s very very simple when doing online shopping to put a comment in when ordering stipulating that you want decent length dates.

 

So no legislation needed as we already have sufficient and as has been stated many times just reject it if not happy and the driver always has to update reasons why which get picked up by the online teams.

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Yes you are right which is why it rarely happens, I cant recall anytime during my delivering 000’s of items that I ever found fresh meats for example over the sell by date.

 

But as I keep saying as long as the customer, if they are worried about dates, puts a note on the order then there are rarely any problems.

 

It’s not in the supermarkets interest to send out sub standard food and the customer can always just shop elsewhere.

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You are lucky, what online grocery store are you using?

 

I have had two online deliveries recently, first one was with asda where the majority of the products had one day left of the use by date, and there was one product three days past it use by date.

 

Second delivery was with Morrisons with some products with a one day left before use by date.

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jazztheman, have you looked at people like Lidl or Aldi if they're near you? I haven't looked into it closely but I know from shopping in Lidl that the turnover of products is quite fast and the prices are good.

 

Just a thought, maybe other people will know.

 

HB

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8 minutes ago, jazztheman said:

You are lucky, what online grocery store are you using? I have had two online deliveries recently, first one was with asda where the majority of the products had one day left of the use by date, and there was one product three days past it use by date. Second delivery was with Morrisons with some products with a one day left before use by date.

Are you confusing sell by, with best before or use by, like I say I have never had experience of delivering fresh stuff like milk or meat with bad dates. 

If you are having issues then its a quick phone call to the store with details and they will refund or replace anything, have you tried that ?

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It's definitely the 'use by' date, that's why I am so concerned.

 

Asda refund was refused at first and I had to go through the asda ceo to get a refund. 

 

Morrisons order was no problem and they issued a refund when I informed them of the problem.

This just shouldn't happen and the selling of short use by products online should be regulated.

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Find that strange if you had proof of delivery date and proof of the date on the item, did you tell the driver at the time ?

 

And it is regulated under sale of goods act as far as I know, as well as distant selling regs for online orders. But there are more knowledgable people on here than me about that.

Edited by jotty
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This is the reply message I had from Asda when I complained about the selling of out of date products

 

"We sell products right up until their Best before or Use by date to minimise food waste.

When items are close to their date, we normally reduce them or remove them from sale at the end of the Use by day. I'm sorry this didn't happen on this occasion."

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Yes that’s the policy for all which is why you can stipulate what you dont want,

There are many people who are happy to freeze stuff when its on the date and then just use it when they need to.

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