Amazon Is Reportedly Shipping Expired Food

Expired food items are slipping through the cracks thanks to third-party sellers

By Bonnie Stiernberg / October 21, 2019 8:51 am

Amazon’s features like Prime Now and Prime Pantry, its recent acquisition of Whole Foods and the millions of third-party sellers on the Amazon Marketplace mean it’s easier than ever to purchase food from the company and get it delivered as soon as you need it. But according to a new CNBC report, an increasing number of customers have been complaining that the food they bought on Amazon was expired when they received it.

A data analytics firm that specializes in the Amazon Marketplace recently analyzed the site’s 100 best-selling food products and discovered that at least 40 percent of those sellers had more than five customer complaints about items that arrived well past their expiration or sell-by date. As CNBC notes, Teavana shuttered in 2017, but you can still find Teavana products like rock sugar and fruit teas for sale on Amazon from third-party sellers today. Third-party sellers are required to provide Amazon with an expiration date and must guarantee the item has a remaining shelf life of 90 days, but that can be tough to regulate.

“There’s no indication of how well that policy is enforced,” Thomas Gremillion, director of food policy at advocacy group Consumer Federation of America, told the publication. “Some sellers could be making a business decision to sell expired products and let Amazon catch some of it and toss it out and persist.”

An Amazon spokesperson said that after CNBC brought a number of expired food products to the company’s attention, they took corrective action, adding that “they were isolated incidents that didn’t require enforcement action against the sellers or removal of any products.”

“We work hard to make sure customers receive high-quality products when they order from our store,” the spokesperson said. “We have robust processes in place to ensure customers receive products with sufficient shelf life.”

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