Old sell by date on milk - curbside pickup - Should I be annoyed?

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Assistant Cook
Oct 29, 2020
I feel stupid for asking this.

I purchased my groceries online for curbside pickup. I have severe anxiety and it's so much nicer not to go in the store.

I ordered a gallon of milk that has a sell by date of September 19 (today is the 22nd). This will go to waste before I can use it. Normally when I buy milk, it has a sell by date that's usually more than 14 days away, sometimes 21 days away. I did an online return for it stating it was past it's expiration date. Do you think that's ok?

I feel bad doing a return, because it's still useable, but it will definitely go to waste before I can use it all. I'm not sure how much I will be able to use, maybe none. When doing curbside, I expect the employees to check the dates on perishable food and not give me something with a "sell by" date that's already passed.

When I order produce, I expect that it may not be great quality because they probably don't take time to inspect it. I understand that. But why give someone milk that's three days past it's sell by date? That just seems dumb. I think I tend to be too honest and try to do the right thing. So that's why I was asking about this. I also usually give feedback and almost always give 5 stars. I'm not sure what to give. 4 stars and a note about what happened? 5 stars and a note? I know these employees are overworked, so I'm trying to be nice about it. But then I think about elderly or handicapped people who would be very inconvenienced over something like this.

Yes, I know I'm crazy for fretting over this. That's just me.
I'd be complaining and definitely returning.

BTW, unless i actually need milk for something, like cereal, i buy heavy cream and either water down or use broth as part of liquid. Heavy cream lasts a lot longer than milk.

I also keep evaporated milk in the pantry and use it like milk in cookkng.
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I order groceries online and have them delivered. If I get something with an expired best before date or even one that is only a few days, I promptly ask for a refund. If they want my business, they need to send me food that is still fresh.

Bring it to the store and get your money back or a new carton of milk. If you don't do that, they either won't know that a mistake was made, or they will assume that it is okay to put food that isn't properly fresh into your order.
I go into the store to shop, so I can only imagine that the people shopping for you really don't care about things like sell by dates. They just need to fill orders as quickly as possible. They may even be told to pick the old stuff for the curb pickup customers.

I also buy organic milk, which tastes better, and has a much longer shelf life. The milk I bought this week has a sell by date of November 3.

Yes, you should tell the store to take it back, and give you a newer carton of milk. I don't know if you can do that without going into the store.

Yes, you absolutely did the right thing. Did they ask for you to keep it for the return or just chuck it? For many stores it is not worth the effort to make a special order or trip to pick up the wrong item, or in your case, the outdated.
Your reasonings on produce is great and would be mine too. But dairy/milk products absolutely should not be sold. With the exception of explicit inquiries to the consummer concerning the product - which also are generally heavily discounted.
I would have given a 2 (maybe 3) star rating. I believe they might ignore a 4 or 5 as being good. Hopefully they would look for the reason of a 3 star and for sure - if they are doing their job and want to keep their customers - they will check out a 1 and 2 star rating. The whole idea behind ratings is for the stores to be able to attune with their customers needs.
I also understand your anxieties, my daughter has problems in stores as well. She laughs and says she pychs herself out with a pretend tunnel vision head gear to see only what she needs to.

Good on you for doing the right thing.
Just to add a little information, organic dairy, heavy cream and half and half (which I buy) are all ultra-pasteurized, which is why they last so much longer than regular milk. I use half and half anytime a recipe calls for milk, diluting it with water or other liquids. You might want to consider one of these instead.
Thanks guys, good to know. I rarely drink milk per say. But on occasion I've taken a mouthfull for what-ever reason. As I purchase lactose free, I notice it is certainly a different flavour, sort of a bit sweet. I used to notice it in my cereal but not anymore.
Yes, my lactose free heavy/whipping creme (35%) does last a lot longer than some regular.

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