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Old 02-11-2019, 06:11 PM   #1
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Question When Buying Meats in Bulk at Costco, Why is the "Freeze By" Date Just A Few Days Out?

I went to our local Costco yesterday
and bought my usual fresh not frozen meats:
Ground Beef
NY Strip Steaks
Italian Sausage

The Ground Beef and Steaks are "use or freeze by" TODAY!!!!
The Sausages are dated for 2/15/2019
I did a WWW search, looking for a reason for this
and came up with bupkis

Now, when I buy meats at other retailers, say Kroger or Safeway,
I get WAY more time to package and freeze my bounty.

I don't understand this.
Does this mean that the meats that I'm buying at
markets other than Costco have preservatives added maybe?

Does anyone have some wisdom for me?

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Old 02-11-2019, 06:37 PM   #2
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Not sure, either..we've done Costco runs when we've been shorted by our meat suppliers and have noticed the same thing..when we get meat in shrink wrapped packages from most companies they say it is good for 30-40 days. It never lasts more than 3 or 4 days at our deli..but, at Costco, even the full pieces are dated one week away..I don't know why..
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:56 PM   #3
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I don't have a clue. You could ask Costco.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:23 PM   #4
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Sometimes it may be repackaged as bulk for a discount to offer a deal and move the products while they can. If they didn’t sell quick enough that may be a reason.
Or possibly they mark it like that from a corporate legal view. If meat is used or frozen it’s fine but left out or in the store for x amount of days or not taken care of properly. The use by date is a published due diligence by the company to cover there butts. The real date may be 2 weeks away (or less) but if company policy says tomorrow everyday that removes some factors. Company policies may freely go above and beyond as long as they meet the minimum requirements they have to.

Just off the top of my head
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:36 AM   #5
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I think we'd all like to know Kgirl. Let this be your quest.


Costco customer care...1-800-774-2678
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:58 AM   #6
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Possible answers. If they repackage it, they may not want to tell you that.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:02 AM   #7
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I don't think those "use by" dates are unique to Costco. The local stores around here usually have a "use by" date on ground beef that is the same day I am shopping/buying - maybe the next. Sausages around here, again at local family and chain grocery stores, have about three days for fresh sausages.

I'll sometimes watch Rachel Ray if I'm around the TV at showtime. A recent episode had her butcher in explaining cuts of meat and shelf life. He said that every minute in the refrigerator causes meat to degrade. For best quality you should use it that day, or the next. If not, freeze it the minute you bring it home from the store! All he did for freezer storage was wrap it in freezer paper, eliminating as much air pockets as possible, then putting it into a freezer bag. He said most whole meats (as opposed to ground) will last 6-8 months.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
Now, when I buy meats at other retailers, say Kroger or Safeway,
I get WAY more time to package and freeze my bounty.
People in northern climes find that their bounty freezes faster than those in the south. They spell it differently, too. "Shake yer bounty" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:05 PM   #9
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So I misspoke in my original dates. The use or freeze date was only ONE DAY out, not two.

I took Kayelle's advise and contacted Costco directly.

Here's what I found out.

I contacted Costco Wholesale via their online "Live Chat" and here is the transcription of my conversation with Matthew M.

Me: I purchased a tray of New York Strip Steaks as well a tray of Ground Beef on Sunday, 2/10/2019. Each of them had a "use by or freeze" date of 2/11/2019. Why is that?

Matthew M: It could be that we prepare it daily at the warehouse and if it's not either used or frozen right away, the quality drops.

Me: So, that's to say that if I did not freeze within that period of time, the meat isn't going to spoil, it just won't be as "good" Is that it?

Matthew M:Correct, it may not spoil quickly but the taste might not be the same as if it was used 24 hours earlier.
We always encourage you to use it before the best by date, Sell by date or the expiration date.
Or freeze it.

Me:So, would you say then that I would have more time to cook that defrosted piece of whatever? Say I defrosted a steak tonight, but didn't get around to cooking it until 2 days later, it should stil be okay?

Matthew M:Unfortunately, no. It'd need to be cooked right away.

Me: In the same vain, say I had a Use By date 2 days out and I froze that package right away. When I defrost that piece of meat, would I still then have 2 days to cook it?

Matthew M:Usually, when unfreezing meat it's for use immediately. So you wouldn't have those two days still as it's already passed.

Me:So basically, its Costco's feeling that if the customer chooses to freeze meats, once defrosted it should be cooked that same day, is that it in a nutshell?

Matthew M:We cannot guarantee freshness or quality after the sell by, best by, or the expiration date. Therefore, we do not recommend consuming any Kirkland Signature products past this date. In freezing it's to make sure it's available when needed, not to save it for another day after thawing.

I found this conversation very interesting.
I didn't want to ask if the company was just covering themselves by stating on the pack to use or freeze within 24 hours.
With all of the recalls on food products, I suppose it just does make sense.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:29 PM   #10
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It could be just a liability safeguard with Costco.
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