Kmart criticised over 'disgusting' find in bin: 'What a waste'

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A huge stash of chocolates and lollies thrown into a dumpster behind a Kmart store has outraged the Sydney locals who discovered it.

In a picture shared to Facebook, Toblerone bars and boxes of Gobstoppers are seen in the rubbish along with other treats.

The discarded goods were found in the industrial bin behind the Ashfield Kmart in Sydney's Inner West, and the person who found them said the items have expiry dates in May and June.

The back of the Kmart store in Ashfield, Sydney showing an industrial bin. Source: Google Maps
Someone found lollies and chocolate in the bin behind the Kmart in Ashfield, Sydney. Source: Google Maps

However, as one person pointed out, chocolate and confectionary don't have expiration dates — they have 'best before' dates.

A few people were appalled by the discovery in the bin.

"What a waste," one person simply reacted, while someone else said it was "disgusting".

"So much waste, they'd rather destroy food than donate it, or give it away if they can't profit from it," another person wrote.

One commenter pointed out there is a foundation located just up the road from the Kmart which helps with homelessness and said the food should have been donated there, or to a food pantry.

Discarded treats, including Toblerone, found in a bin behind Kmart Ashfield. Source: Facebook
The discarded treats including Toblerone outraged some of the locals in the Facebook group. Source: Facebook

Yahoo News Australia has reached out to Kmart for comment on the matter.

Kmart isn't the first store to be called out for discarded goods.

Last year, people were astounded by the waste seen at a Big W store in Queensland and called for the chocolate and other sweets being thrown out to be donated.

What does the 'best before' date mean?

There's a big difference between an expiry date and a 'best before' date which is seen on most food you buy.

For health and safety reasons, food should not be consumed after the expiration, or 'use by' date, and it is illegal to sell food that has.

According to the NSW Food Authority, supermarkets and stores can sell food after the 'best before' date has passed, as long as the food has not "deteriorated or perished".

"Foods marked 'best before' are safe to be consumed provided the food is otherwise fit for human consumption," the NSW Food Authority says.

'Best Before' markings and 'Use By' markings on food.
There is a difference between 'best before' markings and 'use by' markings on food. Source: NSW Food Authority

"These foods can be expected to retain their colour, taste, texture and flavour provided they have been stored correctly.

"Foods marked best before can be sold after that date, provided the food is not deteriorated or perished."

'Best before' markings are generally found on chocolates, along with cereals, biscuits, sauces, flour and frozen foods.

Food Standards Australia explains date markings are a guide to show how long food can be kept before it begins to deteriorate, or become unsafe to eat.

DoSomething's national food campaign Foodwise says food past the 'best before' date can be donated.

"Food which has passed its ‘best before’ date can still be donated to charity provided it is not damaged, deteriorated or perished," it says on its website.

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