Families upset after receiving food past ‘best by’ date from food bank in Pine Bluff

Around Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Families in Little Rock are upset today after realizing they were given food thought to be expired.

The food was given out Monday at a distribution drive, put on by the Delta Network Food Bank and Tyson in Pine Bluff.​

We spoke with both parties who say they were aware the food was labeled past the date but assure us the food is still safe to eat.​

“I thought it was good, I thought it was the right time. I needed some food,” said LaTorria Mayo, picked up food.​

Monday, thousands of people from across Central Arkansas gathered at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, where Delta Network Food Bank a Tyson Foods promised to hand out 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken,​

However, two families who got food, are crying foul.​

“When I looked in the sacks and checked the food, none of the food was good, it was all expired,” said LaTorria.​

LaTorria Mayo has three kids and she said she relies on the food given to her kids at school.​

But with schools being closed its been tough on their family.​

“It was a disappointment because you still can’t feed your kids, how you want to feed your kids,” said LaTorria,​

LaTorria was banking on the food handed out and so was her cousin Dejuanna Mayo.​

They went to pick up the food together.​

“The store won’t sell expired chicken, why would y’all give us expired chicken? because it was free? Still not right,” said Dejuanna Mayo, Picked up food.​

Tyson Foods sent us a statement reading in part, “We regret providing product past its “best by” date during the donation event in Pine Bluff and understand the community concern. “Best by” dates for frozen items indicate flavor or best quality and do not indicate that products beyond that date are unsafe to eat.”​

Both families said they would trust it if the food they were given was still frozen at the time it was handed out but it wasn’t.​

“I understand what they are saying but my thing is, I would think it was still good if it was frozen, the food was all thawed out. Like when people are putting it back in their freezer you cannot refreeze expired stuff,” said LaTorria.​

Tyson employees said, there was an extension letter given to the food bank explaining if frozen food, was in the same freezer in the original packaging it is okay to eat past the ‘best by’ date.​

According to Tyson, that letter was given to the food bank but it wasn’t given to the people picking up food.​

Here is Tyson Foods full statement:

“Tyson Foods is committed to providing safe, quality food to our customers, consumers and those in need. We regret providing product past its “best by” date during the donation event in Pine Bluff and understand the community concern. “Best by” dates for frozen items indicate flavor or best quality and do not indicate that products beyond that date are unsafe to eat. Nevertheless, we are working to provide another truckload donation to Pine Bluff and appreciate the community’s patience as we work to deliver millions of pounds of donations to hunger relief agencies across the country.”​

Both families said they would not go pick up food again from Tyson.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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