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Amazon Is Selling Expired Food

There are a few methods of purchasing food on Amazon: there's Amazon Fresh, the company's grocery-delivery service, and then there are third-party sellers, who may sell everything from candy bars to cookies to coffee creamer. It's the latter that's causing headaches for customers who are receiving out-of-date and expired food, according to a new report from CNBC published this weekend.

It's a worthwhile read, especially if you, like me, use Amazon to order specialty foods you couldn't find at your grocery store. (I just used Amazon to send some smoked Maldon salt to a friend as a gift, but I made sure to purchase it from the official Maldon store via Amazon.) CNBC found that there's little oversight from Amazon when it comes to date-checking third party sellers' foods, and that third-party sellers' reviews are riddled with complaints about expired goods. According to a data analytics firm that contributed to the CNBC story, at least 40% of sellers of the site's 100 best-selling food products had more than five customer complaints about expired goods. Amazon does have a policy requiring third-party vendors to provide Amazon with an expiration date for food items, and must ensure the product has a shelf life of at least 90 days from purchase date. It seems, though, that policy is not always enforced.

Give the CNBC report a read, and remember that if you're buying food via Amazon, it's best to use the official Fresh service or a reputable third-party seller. When I searched for cult-favorite Mallomars cookies, for example, I found them offered by Nabisco, as well as third-party sellers including 3R Supplies and Marie-Alexzanders. Which should I go with?