A FOODBANK said it was appalled someone had donated some sardines which were EIGHT years out-of-date.

Two tins of out-of-date sardines were donated to Harwich Foodbank, in Iconfield Park, Garland Road, Dovercourt, on February 5.

But one of the tins expiry date was 2010 and the other was 2013.

The food bank is now urging residents to double check the food they donate is not out-of-date as it is unusable.

A Harwich Foodbank spokesman said: "We weren't surprised to find out-of-date items as this happens quite regularly but not often that old.

"Somebody had obviously carried them down to Morrisons to put in our bin, but we failed to see why they didn't just put them in their own bin at home.

"We do occasionally post a plea to people to please date-check their donations but, unfortunately for us, they still arrive."

The foodbank volunteers go to Morrisons every Tuesday morning to collect the donations which have been left in the donations bin in the store's foyer.

She added: "We date-check every donated item, no matter where they come from, but on this particular occasion we came across these two tins of sardines, one was a Tesco brand with the expiry date December 2010 and the other a Co-op brand with the expiry date April 2013."

The tins had to be binned by the foodbank volunteers.

She said: "We are exceedingly grateful to this fantastic community for their support and wonderful donations and we couldn't function without them but we do tend to get several out-of-date items.

"Possibly a family member has passed away and they clear out their cupboards and then donate it all to us without thinking that some of the items could be out-of-date.

"We have donations bins in several of the local supermarkets and churches and do sometimes find items that are no longer in date.

"If you wouldn't eat it or give it to a family member, then there is no way we would pass it on to someone less fortunate."