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Do not buy expired products – ZABS

LAST week, we talked about the importance of product labelling and how it affects both the manufacturer and the consumer, and we also talked about the characteristics of good product labelling. We hope that you our dear readers learnt one or two things about that.
We have a message for you today and for many days to come we will keep reminding you of one of our key messages, consumers be quality-conscious and manufacturers embrace standards and have your products certified by the Zambia Bureau of Standard (ZABS).
Throughout our journey this year, we will keep this message alive! Our desire is to ensure that only quality products are on the market. Our desire is to protect the health and safety of the citizenry by ensuring that only quality products are on the market. Products that meet the required standards or even exceed them.
In light of what happened in Livingstone last week, I would like to share with you why it is significant to check the expiry date of any product, especially products that are on clearance sales or price reduction.
Sales promotions are not strange to all of us, and usually at the end of the month, it is not unusual to see sales promotions and price reductions or discounts in the major chain stores not only in Zambia but the world over.
One of the reasons why products are on promotion or clearance sales or discounts is that the chain stores want their products to sell as quickly as possible. The big one and perhaps one of the common ones is to get rid of those products that will soon expire. It is, therefore, important to understand why certain products are on promotion and if you do not take care to read the product details, then you are on your way home with soon-to-expire products or expired goods.
A word of caution is that if you consciously buy products that are about to expire, please use them before the expiry date. And as a bureau, we have repeatedly said that the quality of an expired product is not guaranteed, and you may put your health and safety at risk.
On March 24, 2015, in Livingstone, acting on a customer complaint, ZABS conducted an inspection at a shop known as Cosmetic Cave on Mosi-O-Tunya Road.
The findings were alarming as it was found that the shop owner was selling expired products ranging from baby diapers, bath soaps and body lotions, some of which had expired from as far back as 2013.
ZABS confiscated 82 packages of baby diapers each containing 10 Tender Rite diapers and two packages of another brand of diapers called Baby Love each containing 52 diapers.
The bureau also confiscated 76 bars of skin-lightening soaps and 73 bottles of assorted body lotions all valued at K3,050.
And once again dear reader, our message is clear; be quality-conscious. Selling of expired products is a violation of the Standards Act Cap 416 of the Laws of Zambia.
We would like to urge the traders to ensure that they have an effective stock rotation plan or schedule to ensure that the stocks in their warehouses are sold on first-in first-out basis to avoid keeping goods that have expired due to poor warehousing practices.
The persons responsible for a particular product in the warehouse should be trained on effective stock rotation practices.
Once again, we are urging consumers to partner with ZABS and report such cases. As you know, ZABS cannot be found everywhere, we need cooperation from the public.
The confiscated products will be disposed of according to the required regulations for disposal by incineration on a date to be communicated to all concerned parties.
We care for you and your health and safety. So take heed!
The author is head of marketing and public relations Contact the Director  Zambia Bureau of Standards Lechwe House, Freedom way P O Box 50259, Lusaka Tel: 260-211-231385  zabs@zamnet.org.zm hzulu@zabs.org.zm

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