One customer shared an unsavoury experience with a mislabelled piece of chicken from a Metro store in Toronto.
The post on the Toronto subreddit started as a PSA, warning readers that the store might have repackaged old meat with new best before dates, with the old date hidden inside.
The original poster explained that they bought the bacon-wrapped chicken medallion from a Metro on Sept. 29, with the product stating that its best before date was Oct. 9. When the person opened the package on Oct. 2, they were surprised by what they found.
“Inside the cellophane wrapper was the chicken inside another layer of vacuum sealed plastic,” the person wrote. “Double wrapped, must be to keep it extra fresh, right?”
However, on the bottom of the inner packaging, in between the chicken and the styrofoam, was another best before date, this one for Sept. 30.
“Tried cooking it but it was definitely off, so into the bin,” the poster wrote. “Be careful out there — don't waste food, or your money, due to misrepresented labelling!”
I always get it from the butcher counter. It's the same price.
Many in the comments shared similar experiences with packaged meats.
“This is why I never buy prepackaged meat,” one commenter wrote. "I always get it from the butcher counter. It's the same price.”
Others in the comments spoke about the alleged practice of grocery stores seasoning old meats in an effort to sell them faster. There was also discussion about best before dates, and how some retailers choose to throw out products rather than sell them at reduced prices.
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency best before dates are used on foods "with a shelf life of 90 days or less, except for fresh fruit and vegetables and certain other products."
Meanwhile, expiration dates "are required only on certain foods that have strict compositional and nutritional specifications, which might not be met after the expiration date."
In a follow-up, the original poster on Reddit said they had filed a complaint with Metro and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Metro has since apologized for the "handler error."
In an email to Yahoo Canada, a representative from Metro clarified this incident was a result of a mislabelling error, and as a precaution, the store did remove the product from the distributor.
“The store was in contact with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Toronto Public Health, who both determined the incident was a mistake due to handler error, and our food safety team is working with store staff to reinforce labelling and food safety requirements,” the email read.