Crackdown on unsafe and expired food products continues
THE KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) has again called on consumers to report shops selling unsafe and expired food.
This comes after authorities raided shops in Mandeni last week where expired food was confiscated.
The raid, led by EDTEA, the South African Police Service, Home Affairs, Department of Labour and the Mandeni Municipality, is part of government’s intervention to crack down on unsafe food being sold to customers.
EDTEA MEC Sihle Zikalala described the raid in Mandeni as a resounding success.
‘Consumers have a responsibility to ensure that the goods they buy are safe. They must check the expiry dates,’ he said.
Zikalala recently warned of stern action to be taken against businesses that flout consumer rights.
The department has been conducting inspections at various business sites where unfair business practices were uncovered.
‘What we have discovered during our investigations is shocking to say the least.
‘Some businesses are taking advantage of our poor and vulnerable communities and we have decided to take drastic steps to stop it.
‘We have found shops that sell perishable food that expired as far back as 2015. These included infant food products,’ Zikalala said.
The MEC said his department would continue to conduct unannounced inspections to deal with the escalating abuse of consumer rights.
‘We are in the process of establishing a consumer court to swiftly deal with contraventions of the law.
‘We want our officials to not only tell us how far they have progressed in terms of consumer awareness, but also report on actions they have taken against noncomplying businesses.’
Last month the National Environmental Health Chief Directorate wrote letters to all 52 district municipalities and metros asking them to conduct inspection blitzes at all food premises.
Consumers can contact the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environment Affairs’ protection hotline on 0800 333667 to report any problems.