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Best before dates: How supermarkets tamper with your food (CBC Marketplace)

Best before dates: How supermarkets tamper with your food (CBC Marketplace)
this is market play is this label lying to you I didn't know that that's the question we've got the answers shut the front door juicy secrets from behind the counter you would take the brown meat and turn it red yeah the

food

may look good but the facts will gross you out the fecal indicator fecal indicator but they're like they're being told from the top down to fudge the

best

before date and take a ride in the

marketplace

Time Machine the fondue mix she bought was over three years old this is

your

marketplace

are you ready to play the boudin play along we're about to share five secrets you need to know about

best

before

dates

those little labels you see on

food

packages first question what's the

best

before date the date you're supposed to know outfit I think it usually refers to a state or even legally found on the Shelf

best

before date would be probably something about you shouldn't eat afterwards on the streets of Toronto ash is hearing a lot of guessing so I'm going to get the

food

facts on those

dates

from microbiologist Keith Warner I actually found this pack of crackers in the back of my cupboard and it has a

best

before date of April of 2014 so well over a year ago would these still be safe to eat so let's have a look at them you'll probably break a two for two on those but they're perfectly safe so I get to do the taste test all right here we go oh this smells a taste tastes terrible that is definitely passage...
best before dates how supermarkets tamper with your food cbc marketplace
specially for it it might be perfectly safe it is not tasty exactly and that's why people put these

best

before

dates

on he says for most

food

s

best

before

dates

will tell you if it's still fresh the

best

before is just a general message say well after this date we can't guarantee the quality of the product what types of

food

should we stay away from once they're past their

best

before date big ones are deli meats and soft cheeses and meat raw meat because what they can do is have a potential to grow pathogens which we can't see we can't smell and the

food

becomes dangerous but other products are fairly safe things like bread for example yes it'll taste a bit more stale but it won't be too dangerous other things like pasta dry products like cookies

best

before

dates

can be important so how much can you trust them one grocery insider had lots to say she agrees to tell all if we protect her identity this former bakery clerk

tamper

ed with

food

for years what would happen to

food

s in the bakery that had passed their

best

before date it wasn't selling we would cut the cake in half like this and then each half would be packaged on its own and each of the halves would have a new

best

before date put on it how long could those sit out for they actually had stickers on them for about two more weeks and then what would happen after a couple of weeks if it still hadn't sold we would actually replace that sticker with the new one so that's two...
best before dates how supermarkets tamper with your food cbc marketplace
additional weeks on top of the two weeks on top of the weeks that had spent in the display case she worked at a

your

independent grocery store in Ontario before it was bought by Loblaws she says

tamper

ing with bakery items at her store common practice with the fruit cup tarts in the display case we would take them and we would scrape off the fruit as it got older or less desirable looking or moldy moldy he'd scrape off that yes then we would just reach op it with new fruit and we would reglazed it and then we would put it back in the display case until this fruit wasn't looking very good anymore the boss said that was okay the boss didn't just say it was okay this is what we were instructed to do and it wasn't just fruit tarts our insider says she scraped off fruit and re topped some cakes - sounds gross but could it be dangerous we buy some cakes and fruit tarts for lab testing I brought you some

food

products to take a look at but to our surprise when we open the box let's check out this cake it's a fruit torte Wow look at that holy cow this has not passed its

best

before dating there's already mold on it it's very already this is good this is Wow can't believe how much mold is on it yes hmm has this cake been doctored the store said it's not passed the

best

before date we asked Warriner to help us simulate what our insider tells us about what happens to cakes and tarts two weeks past their

best

before

dates

on day one of our test...
best before dates how supermarkets tamper with your food cbc marketplace
that moldy cake surprisingly still safe to eat but nearly two weeks later so these are yeasts and moles and you might see these orange ones here look pretty don't they yeah if you ingest that toxin what can happen well nothing will happen to you instantly but what over time it can lead to things like cancer so that this is why we have these

best

-before by

dates

rarely to stop these sort of things happening yikes and he says the longer these toxins stay on

food

s past their

best

before

dates

more potential growth and risk and there's more this comes in the form of we'll call an entry bacteria which is a fecal indicator a fecal indicator on the torch on the chart that's a lot of handling when you produce these stalks can introduce a third degree of Cody farms and other bacteria you found a lot lurking on the surface of that torch it was I could see of microbes underneath the fruit it ready wasn't it the number back to you I amazed me as a microbiologist that even these microscope grow so high in a cave pretty disturbing almost two weeks past their

best

before date the fruit tarts are loaded with toxins - this is a specialist it's a mold that produces a mica toxin which can be very fatal over the long period of time our insider says she didn't know there could be potential risks but why did she do it when you're working there it's part of

your

job and you're told to do it and you're not really at a place in

your

life where you can take...
a stand or say anything about it so what's her advice for you I would personally avoid buying any cake or pie or bakery product that isn't in its original form if it's been cut in half or cut into smaller pieces there's probably a reason for it back on the street what do you think one tip from these former workers is you should buy

food

s in the bakery in its original form no it's an advice that I should start sharing a lot of my family members and friends that's a good piece of information yeah that's definitely something I can use in the future Loblaws won't come on camera but after learning about our findings they tell us they've reinforced their bakery policies with all their stores we wonder if what we're hearing is unique to the bakery department so we design a national online call-out and aleshia how's it going good I'm just checking out some of our results we hear from grocery workers who've worked at retailers big and small from coast to coast in the deli bakery produce and meat departments I have witnessed sea

food

that was expired be turned into chowder mix oh that's disgusting yep across the country they share disturbing secrets of what goes on behind the counter oh look at that one we would take unpackage pies cakes cookies and repackage them as a single serving dessert that's not good take a look at this one meat was rewrapped

best

before date was changed person after person is writing in about changing...
the

best

afford eggs that's shocking so as we were researching this story it turns out one of our very own interns on

marketplace

used to work at a grocery store so I'm gonna meet him and hear what he has to say the hair used to work in the industry what did you do with me that was past its

best

before day he gears up to give us a demo something like this they would take the dip it in blood just double it a little bit we've stimulated some blood here yeah so just double it like that and then as you can see it looks a lot redder that's what you do you would take the brown meat and turn it red yeah so we would turn it red and then if like again we do it as many times as possible we just keep flipping it when it comes to our third question what's happening in the meat department we here doing meet make over it's easy we would rewrite them and put down a new sticker which came with a new

best

before date that I extended the shelf life and you won't look at ground beef the same when you hear this if it's really bad if it's like this we would dabble in a little bit of blood throw it into the meat mincer with some redder meats and then altogether it would make it look red and then we put it back up on the shelf and people would buy this yeah yeah all the time sounds misleading but can it be risky to

food

safety expert Keith Warner helps us recreate what we've heard is going on with meat we mix meat that's four days past its

best

before...
date with new how does it smell I'll let you do the honors - good let's do good turn it on so how's this new blend look it's totally fresh likes well disguised yeah that looks good but could it be bad for you we send it off for testing the good the bad and the rotten we go to the core and a

best

-before a flashback it didn't look right and it didn't taste right did our coffee-cups investigation get

your

pot boiling find out what Tim Hortons and Starbucks staff have to say this is

your

marketplace

ready set it's a time bomb flashback 1976 funky fondue a few weeks ago mrs. Rita Clifford of Sudbury Ontario served a cheese fondue to her husband and their guests the fondue was quite frankly awful it didn't look right and it didn't taste right this is Clifford complained to the manufacturer and she got her money back another satisfied consumer end of story not quite Joan's mrs. Clifford also received some interesting information the fondue mix she bought was over three years old the lounge's company has not been making fondue mix for almost four years and the ideal shelf life of the mix would have been under a year so next we call the Toronto office of the TJ Lipton company as they handle the marketing of Blanche's products and Lipton's branch manager and you all about mrs. Clifford's failed fondue party but he didn't feel it could happen again and in fact he jokingly remarked I'll bet you $1,000 you couldn't find...
another package of the stuff well we went to forest stores in Toronto and three out of four had the mix to Loblaws in the Dominion and we figure that branch manager owes us about three thousand dollars great that was then this is now and we're finding some grocery stores are still playing games when it comes to

best

before

dates

would you eat this past the

best

before date no fruit what we're about to show you next might just change the way you shock

food

safety expert Keith Warner is helping us test some

food

s insiders tell us are being doctored to extend their shelf life like grinding up meat that's four days past its

best

before date with fresh yuck I'm curious how it tested so what we found was the meat was actually loaded with bacteria after only one day it was loaded with these type of bacteria called entra bacteria see and what they do this is that these can break down the meat proteins to make something called biogenic amines which are toxic chemicals which can cause asthma mood changes all sorts people who bought that me wouldn't know that it was spoiled because it been mixed up with the good-looking me exactly was deception at its worst isn't it taupey unethical and in this case ok if he goes beyond ethics doesn't it goes just safety and things like that the hair has experience working in the grocery bills others we hear from he says mixing old meat with new happened all the time who told you to do this so the the butcher and my...
supervisor or a lot of times he'd bring it in for me he'd bring him like a stack of like like meats that were brown slam them onto him be like sahara unwrap these and relateable them stock them back up on the shelves so what advice does he wish he could have given his customers don't buy from the front of the shelves reach on behind grab this stuff in the back that stuff is usually a little newer back on the street we tell people about all that meat

tamper

ing that's disgusting oh my god look that's their bike do you buy marinated meats am i like marinated fish do you consider it fresh yes I always think it's more fresh it's like you like they prepared in the store that day see I put my trust and company might not be fresh it's not good so can you trust marinated meat we hear from other insiders including this Ontario grocery manager he says there's a secret reason some stores are adding sauces and spices to meat we've got some marinated drumsticks here why is stuff marinated things get marinated if it's if it's going off or it is off they will marinate it to hide the odor and if there are any dark spots or whatever to mask that and then put it out for sale and things that are marinade to actually sell for more you charge more for no stuff that has gone past its

best

before date yes was referred to as value-added so because you're adding something to it it increases the price so in our store things like steaks strip loin...
steaks they were going off they were expired essentially would be coated in some sort of barbecue marinade or cracked pepper something with a really strong odor to hide the rotten smell what was the reason given for doing this it's all about profit and money and the health of the consumer is not really concern it's how much money I can make with almost ten years experience in the biz this insiders got a tip for the next time you're out shopping for meat I would not buy a pre marinated meat or pre spiced meat in grocery stores because you don't know what has happened to it it could be fresh but it could also be expired product what tends to happen according to some insiders the marinated needs it's often marinated to kind of disguise the color hide the odor disgusting it's a fraud oh no I always just thought it would be the most freshman yeah earlier aha you should be honest with

your

consumer you want action we want answers Canadians want to be able to trust when they go to the grocery store that they're buying

food

that is safe for them get our newsletter

your

cheat sheet to the news you need to eat or not to eat you don't want to miss this ready to engage we're getting the goods on

best

before date insiders from coast to coast tell us they're

tamper

ing with

your

food

store policies are being ignored final question when you see mold on

food

can you cut it off and eat the rest I think so hell no far as I know you can cut it off I still...
you microbiologist Keith Warner says it's not as simple as you might think if you see mold growing on a product is that safe to eat in things like bread it's safe but if you think of a soft cheese if you think of jam if you think of even a strawberry and you see these moles growing they could potentially reducing these toxins that diffuse through but this former grocery manager says old fruits and veggies sometimes get a second life any time you needed to make a fruit tray you might go out onto the counter and see what's out there maybe something is starting to turn and you would bring it back in and cut off the part that is bad and then cut up the rest that looks good and then put it into a fruit tray did you actually see that happening yes I did same thing happens with some vegetables so it happens quite often okay what if I told you that hard

food

products like orange cauliflower or broccoli there's mold on it it's okay to eat but when we're talking about soft

food

s don't even take a chance no I didn't know that before I have actually cut strong mold off strawberries and fennyman so I didn't realize that shut the front door misleading people about

best

before

dates

is illegal there are industry standards for

best

before

dates

stores are supposed to self-police so there's no way of knowing how widespread these practices are not every grocery worker who answered our call out had stories to share but 1/3 of people who worked in the...
industry in the past 10 years the

tamper

ing was going on no surprise to retired public health inspector Jim Cham what kind of stories have you heard about altering

best

before

dates

I've been receiving complaints from the public regarding you know when I buy a pill you know a product on it looks like somebody change or cover they are the

best

before date all people would say that looks like somebody change it by using a pen or did you smudge it all those things people were questioning whether they've been

tamper

ed with it does correct he's been hearing about

food

tamper

ing for over 30 years how do you know those things are actually happening where often that we would do a spot check go to the meat counter or the

food

package counter right away and just to do the

best

to see whether those evidence can be collected yep it's often hard to catch in the act so who is minding the store we try for weeks to get an interview with the industry group the retail Council of Canada but they won't talk on camera so with test results in hand we pay them a visit hi there I'm Erika Johnson from CBC

Marketplace

hoping to see David Wilkes David Wilkes is the senior vice president of the retail councils grocery division we wait and wait finally he comes out to speak with us what specifically are you going to do now that we've told you people are

tamper

ing with

best

of four

dates

there's a risk here that people could get sick right I don't accept that the...
products that were changed or altered or there was issues around that there was safety concerns good employees are telling us that they're being told from the top down to fudge the

best

before

dates

it's coming from managers often right and so I don't accept that premise Canadians are going to be able to trust when they go to the grocery store that they're buying

food

that is safe for them they can trust the the quality of the

food

that is in Canadian stores they can trust the

food

safety if we've discovered that people are being told to fudge

best

before

dates

what steps have you taken to mediate that the steps were already in place the steps were in place being followed we asked Wilkes if he'll pass on a message to his members you know a commitment to us today will you commit to getting back to

your

member stores and telling them they have to enforce the policies that are already in place because obviously that's not happening I don't need to do that because those policies are already in place they're worse than nd I do not be followed in we agree to disagree that was interesting he heard our concerns and he said that basically these policies are being followed in stores it's not what we found so what message do you have for retailers as a mother as a light we are putting our trust in you so please help us you should be honest with

your

consumer I would say any company

tamper

ing with

best

before

dates

don't do it it's not...
worth my help

your

favorite fish oil or protein powder really any good for you dietary supplements a capsule of prevention or a dose of height they're out there saying take this will be a complete man a complete woman more than half of this protein is spiked they're basically cheating the customers fish oil or snake oil none of the seven products that we tested met their label flame