EXPIRED GOODS TAKEN OFF SHELVES OF SHOPS
Officials seize expired goods from anarchic shopkeepers
The Chris Hani District Municipality’s (CHDM) health services division in partnership with the local authority conducted a search operation for expired goods in foreign-owned shops in Mlungisi last Friday.
Staff from the district and local municipalities including the department of home affairs immigration services, police and other stakeholders searched more than 50 shops and confiscated some food items which were found to have expired.
Immigration services officers also checked the shop owners’ documents to see if they were still valid.
CHDM municipal health services manager Siyabulela Vellem said the search operation had started in the past financial year and they were planning to conduct the searches on a quarterly basis.
“We have been receiving complaints from concerned people about expired goods that are sold in some of the shops. Our main concerns are the safety of the people who buy from those shops and issues of food control.
“In Mlungisi we found several shops to have been selling expired items, which showed this initiative was important because there was no compliance from the owners since the last time we visited their shops.”
Vellem said all the confiscated items would be destroyed.
Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) councillor Mncedisi Mbengo said of the shops that were searched, 18 were found to have been selling expired items ranging from food to cosmetics and snacks which are normally bought by children.
“It is sad that community members are sold these items at a cheaper price because they are rotten, but due to their situation they do not have a choice. The shop owners do not care about their own customers’ health; all they want to do is make money.
“In one of the shops we searched, the owner did not have his immigration documents and was found with drugs. He was arrested. Two other shop owners’ documents had expired a long time ago but they are still here operating as normal.”
Mbengo said the municipality needed strong bylaws to address the issue of selling expired items by foreign and locally owned businesses.
INSPECTION: ANC councillor Mncedisi Mbengo inspects tinned food in one of the foreign-owned shops in Mlungisi
CONFISCATED: The expired goods, along with some which did not have an expiry date, were confiscated from the shops and collected to be destroyed