Business

Report expired goods

CCPC CONSUMER ADVICE CORNER
Dear Sir/Madam,
If you buy a product from a shop which expired more than a year ago, do you just take it back and ask for a refund or an exchange, or can you report the shop owner to the commission? Because if they can sell a product that expired over a year ago, it means they do not bother to check their stock, and I’m sure some members of the public have been using such products which can harm their health. Kindly advise. – Thank you. – BM
Dear BM,
Thank you for your e-mail about expiry date. This is one of the areas where we do receive serious concerns, and allow us to take advantage of your question to enlighten other members of the public who might have similar concerns.
From the onset, we would like to state that the Competition and Consumer Protection Act No 24 of 2010 (the Act) Section 49(1) and Section 52 prohibits the sale of products which are expired.
However, the Food and Drugs Act cap 303 of the Laws of Zambia, which is implemented by the local councils under the Ministry of Health, prohibits the sale of unwholesome foods (foods which have passed the expired/best before dates).
In a nutshell, traders are not allowed to sell expired products or products which have passed their expiry or best before dates because this phenomenon borders on both food safety and food quality.
Therefore, when you buy a product which has passed its best before or expiry date, it is important to alert the shop owner so that they can put in place precautionary measures to avoid future recurrence.
After informing the owner of the shop, ensure that you report the matter to the commission and even so, to the nearest local authorities because they also have a mandate of enforcing food safety laws.
When lodging a complaint to the commission, ensure that you have proof of purchase such as a receipt. The receipt will act as evidence of purchase and will stand as a witness. As you are aware, selling expired products is a criminal matter and most of such cases end up in the courts of law.
If you have any questions, concerns or query, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us using any of the contacts below.
Please e-mail us on: zcomp@ccpc.org.zm, h.chaaba@ccpc.org.zm. Visit our Facebook page:www.facebook.com/Competition-and-Consumer-Protection –CCPC-Zambia or Follow us on Twitter @ CompComZambia. We are at 4th Floor Main Post Office Building, P.O. Box 34919, Lusaka. Telephone: 222775/222787, toll-free line: 5678 across all mobile phone networks.


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