This Expiration Date Typo Has Aldi Shoppers Cracking Up

We're probably all pretty used to seeing some type of sell-by, use-by, or expiration date on just about every kind of food item. But although they seem ubiquitous now, expiration dates really haven't been around all that long. According to The Guardian, they were first launched on food packages in the storerooms of the major retailer Marks & Spencer's in the 1950s. However, the practice didn't actually make it onto store shelves until 1970. And while in the United States, sell-by dates are now only required by federal law to be stamped on infant formula, they can still be found on a wide variety of products, from perishables like milk and cheese to pantry items, and even canned goods, via Smithsonian Magazine.

However, while they might serve as a useful guideline for optimal food freshness, the dates stamped on food packages are not necessarily a hard and fast rule. In fact, many types of food are perfectly safe to eat well past the expiration date on the label — a simple smell or taste test is a much more accurate way to determine if a food is expired (via Slate). And in some cases, that date is downright incorrect, as one Reddit user recently discovered while shopping for tortillas at their local Aldi.

Expiration dates are not always accurate

"Love these and but their shelf life seems unrealistic. Another 2 years?" Redditor u/dobby10 jokingly captioned a photo of a package of Keto-friendly tortillas, marked with the expiration date of "2-29." They went on to point out that there won't be a February 29 on the calendar until the next leap year in 2024. Many of their fellow Reddit users could definitely relate to this expiration date typo. "Seen stuff at the store I work at dated 2-30. Really drains your faith in humanity," u/danceswithkitties_ replied. "Wait til Feb 30 and I bet they'll still be ok," another user joked.

One helpful Aldi worker explained the probable reason why this typo ended up on the package. "These products come in frozen. On the day we sell/thaw them, we sticker them for however many days out that it will expire. Unfortunately this person didn't realize there are only 28 days in feb lol so you're definitely safe to eat it, it should say 3-01," they wrote. 

Other users joked that many of these Keto-friendly products do seem to have an unusually long shelf life. "Honestly they do last a crazy long time. Not two years but still... they last," u/JurassicPark-fan-190 posted. So although two years might be a bit of a stretch for most foods, it's probably a good idea to do your own checking for freshness and quality, no matter what the date on the package says.