Watchdog notes rise in expired goods being sold

Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Seema Shandil. Picture: FT FILE

There has been an influx in cases of expired goods being sold to consumers, according to the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCF).

This came after continuous market surveillance by the council over the past week.

It was stated that businesses took advantage of the shopping hype for Eid celebrations by placing expired and near-expiry products on specials and displaying them prominently to lure consumers.

CCF chief executive officer Seema Shandil said the unconscionable conduct by businesses tends to increase during times of festivities and religious events.

“This is quite concerning as it implies that businesses are knowingly flouting the law during the anticipated increased spending in order to get rid of near expiry, expired and other shoddy products at the consumer’s expense,” she added.

The council had flagged the cases to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Municipal Councils because of the potential health risks associated with the consumption of expired products.

“As the actions required against the sale of expired products fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the municipal councils, we are calling on these enforcement bodies to promptly investigate and dish out relevant penalties to serve as a deterrence against these dubious practices.

“Warnings are no longer effective at keeping such issues at bay,” Ms Shandil said.

She said the council would continue to identify and address such market practices. However, consumers are reminded to be vigilant and exercise extreme caution when out shopping.

Ms Shandil urged consumers to be alert whenever they pick an item to place in their shopping cart.

“Check the product packaging, expiry date and the shelf price. After making the purchase, go through your receipts to ensure that the point-of-sale prices reflect what was advertised and the shelf price,” she said.

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