Image: areeya / 123RF Stock Photo

Last week‚ while police and health inspectors were confiscating “expired” cooldrinks‚ maize meal‚ mayonnaise and other foods from foreign-owned shops in Soweto‚ and people were losing their lives in violent protests about “dangerous” food‚ a chain of grocery stores in Cape Town was doing a roaring trade in “expired” foods.

Foodies is the world’s only chain of stores specialising in selling food almost at‚ or shortly past its best-before dates.

It turns out that it’s only illegal to sell or donate perishable foods – mostly food that is refrigerated‚ including meat and dairy – beyond its use-by dates‚ because that does carry a health risk. But “shelf-stable” food products marked with best-before dates do not become “rotten”‚ “spoilt” or “toxic” after their best-before dates.