Some CVS Stores Discard Unexpired Food Products in Dumpsters, Investigation Finds
Dumpsters may be filled with trash, but some also contain discarded food that’s perfectly good to eat.
Inside Edition’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero and food waste expert Rob Greenfield recently went dumpster diving at some CVS stores around Orlando, Florida, and found box loads of edible food items being thrown.
“This right here is enough food for a hundred people in this dumpster alone,” Greenfield explained while pointing to a large pile of food rescued from the trash.
Guerrero and Greenfield found piles of food discarded well before its suggested sell-by date, including baby formula, which was still good for another month, and grape juice, which was good for at least two months.
“It’s outrageous and it's appalling,” Greenfield said.
To show how perfectly edible the food was to eat or drink, Guerrero and Greenfield snacked on items they pulled right out of the trash.
"So every single piece of food in here will be distributed to dozens of people in need," Greenfield said referring to all the good food they found in multiple CVS dumpsters.
But at one CVS dumpster, before Greenfield and Guerrero could haul away three bundles of good food, a CVS manager appeared.
"If you take a look over here this is all the food we got out of this one dumpster and it was all before the sell by date," Guerrero told the manager.
"Anything a month before, we trash it, regardless," he replied.
Guerrero told him the food they had gathered would be donated to the needy, but he insisted it go right back into the dumpster.
"I know it doesn’t make sense but it is our company policy," the manager told Guerrero before dropping the boxes of food back into the trash.
CVS provided Inside Edition the following statement: "CVS Pharmacy works with numerous nonprofit organizations to arrange for damaged or near-expired goods from our stores to be donated to people in need in our communities. In fact, last year we donated almost $56 million worth of product to charity, including Feeding America and Feed the Children.
"Ensuring that unused products are donated in a safe manner is our utmost priority, and most consumable products must be at least one month from its expiration date to be eligible for donation. Our product disposal guidelines and procedures comply with applicable state and federal regulations, and they are consistent with that of the retail industry."