Police ordered the immediate closure or seizure of 27 food premises as part of a blitz on 3,400 establishments across the country, La Repubblica reported.
Among their findings was fish, meat and ice-cream which had long passed their use-by date.
In Parma, Emilia-Romagna, a fridge full of fish which had expired between 2008 and 2010, was found.
The authorities also found fake labels and a substance used to bring out the best colours in a product long after it has passed its best.
Meanwhile, mouldy food and rancid meat prompted the immediate closure of a pizzeria in Salerno, in the Campania region.
Fifteen tonnes of expired ice-cream were seized at an ice-cream shop in Milan while another 3.5 tonnes, which had passed their use-by date by two years, were taken from a shop in Alessandria, also in northern Italy.
Loaves of the traditional Christmas cake, Panettone, which dated back to December 2008, were also seized.