Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 09, 2019 (SKNIS): Businesses are warned to stop selling expired good and consumers should pay close attention to best by, sell by, and expiration dates when shopping, says Devin Richardson, Project Officer at Department of Consumer Affairs, during “Working for You” on May 08, noting that persons should not dismiss expiration dates in particular.
Mr. Richardson stated that ‘best by’ means that by that particular date the item may not taste the same, but when an item is expired it can no longer be used.
In speaking of the best by date he said, “maybe the colour starts to fade, the chemical or whatever is inside of it starts to breakdown, so it’s not going to be at 100 percent, but it is safe to eat.”
“What is important is the expiration date. If it has expired it has expired, “he added.
The project officer noted that the popular belief that items can still be used or consumed three months after its expiration date is false.
“People like to say after it has expired, after three months it is still good. That is a theory that persons use. However, it is not correct. Scientists have said, for example, things that come in tin are processed food and what they are saying is that this is the life of it. After this date, it is no longer good to consume. Yogurt persons are very careful with, but other things persons tend to take a chance,” he said.
Mr. Richardson called for persons to stop taking risks with their health when it comes to expired goods.
“We are here to tell the public to stop taking chances because you are going to get sick,” he said. “You are going to go to the doctor and then the doctor might not be able to find out what happened to you and the doctor might be giving you medication that is not working because he does not know what is wrong. These are the things we have to be careful of with the expiration date.”
Supermarkets can still sell an item on the day it expires, says Mr. Richardson, noting that they can also sell it as its usual price as the day has not passed.
“Usually, what I find is a lot of supermarkets are, within the week, lowering the prices to get rid of the item,” he said. “They have the rights to do that. However, after the date, it is not supposed to be sold.”
Persons who purchase an item after it has expired should bring the item and receipt to the Department of Consumer Affairs to report it. Shopper should be able to get their full money back or the item can be exchanged for an item within the price rage. This is according to the Consumer Rights Act.