01/10/2012 12:40 pm ET

Expired Supermarket Food: What Happens To It?

As darkness falls, your local supermarket becomes a hive of activity. From canned vegetables and salad dressings to fresh fruits and deli meats, countless items are removed from shelves by night staff. Approaching their expiration dates or because they are no longer at their peak quality, most stores consider them unfit for sale. With 15,000 different products in an average supermarket and 25,000 in a superstore according to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), retailers in the U.S. are lumbered with endless pounds of past-their-prime items every year.

Photo by Flickr user: rick

Read more on The Atlantic