Salvage Food Health Concerns: Should You Be Worried About Purchasing Discount Food?


Buying salvage food can save you a good amount of money on your groceries. Still, these savings often come with questions concerning food safety. The term ‘salvage food’ is broad. It can have potentially misleading and possibly alarming ramifications that would prevent a consumer from buying such goods. To be clear, Salvage Food as a “category” includes much more than just food items close to expiration.

Many goods can be considered salvage for various reasons. For example, the packaging may be damaged slightly. The retailer may soon be discontinuing the product for one reason or another. Or, maybe the product is seasonal, and there is quite a bit of leftover inventory. Expiration is by no means the determining factor for “salvageable food.” However, no matter the reason for labeling a particular food item as salvage, it’s still wholly understandable to be cautious about the integrity of the product as well as its safe consumption.

To shed more light on salvage food, we’re exploring what salvage food grocery stores are, what role they play in the industry, and why concerns about these discounted items, in reality, are unwarranted.

A Brief Look at the Role of Salvage Food Grocery Stores & Brokers

Salvage food has become a popular enough method of buying groceries to warrant a good number of retailers specializing in selling these goods.

The process in which stores acquire these goods is often facilitated through a salvage food broker or sourcing agent, such as Marvell Foods. The goal of these brokers, like Marvell Floods, a leader in the industry, is to buy salvage products that are in excess, close to expiration, damaged, or discontinued from other traditional food retailers and sell them to salvage food grocers. These salvage food grocery stores then resell the goods at discounted rates, sometimes up to 70% off the original price. Food brokers like Marvell Foods not only help retailers earn a return on investment for otherwise potentially wasted products, but they also help businesses large and small with food sourcing. Deeply discounted food items can draw heavy store foot traffic that is ultimately very good for a business.

A common question concerning the consumption of expired food is whether or not it is safe? The answer is, it depends on the product. Almost all canned goods are safe if any damage is not severe and the container is not punctured. However, some products such as baby formula, milk, and other diary-based items should not be consumed.

Why Buying Expired Food Can Prove a Logical Choice

The thought of buying expired food may sound unappealing, but in many instances, food past its “use by” date is still safe to consume. Shoppers should still take caution in these circumstances and be aware of products that don’t usually survive long after their “use by” or “sell by” date. Most fresh products like meats, cheeses, bread, and dairy should be closely evaluated. But many canned and boxed products often have substantially greater shelf life and viability long past the “best by” or “expired by” dates. Salvage food generally isn’t bought as a deep stock or as an inventory product. Ideally, these items/products should be purchased and used right away. Therefore, the biggest challenge for salvage food brokers and grocers is to expedite the process of acquiring salvage food before expiration occurs, which is something a sourcing agent or close-out food brokers are keenly aware of.

What to Do With Expired Food Products

With so many American families feeling the effects of food insecurity, salvage food, and salvage food grocery stores are an excellent option for families seeking wholesome and inexpensive food. Consumers who find themselves with expired canned goods on their shelves which are wary of using these products have the option of donating these goods to a nearby salvage grocery store. This helps avoid food waste and can help a family seeking to save money on their next food grocery shopping trip.

Contact Marvell Foods For Your Salvage Needs

As a third-generation, family-run company, Marvell Foods has maintained a vast network across various product categories with companies and suppliers from around the United States. We cater to an array of unique and specific niches for food manufacturers, suppliers, co-packers, producers, wholesalers, and retailers, particularly deep discount retail stores and food banks. From food brokering, surplus buying, direct sourcing, and other services, Marvell Foods has earned a national reputation as a leading provider of foods in both foodservice and the retail sectors. In addition, one of our core missions is to source and sell close-coded and short-coded food products and items approaching their best buy use dates. Suppose you are a retailer, supplier, or distributor who finds themselves with food products approaching a “best use by” date. In that case, Marvell Foods has buyers ready to acquire your frozen or canned, or shelf-stable products. Call us today to discuss how we can help you find or sell close-coded or even expired foods.

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