EX­PIRED GOODS TAKEN OFF SHELVES OF SHOPS

Of­fi­cials seize ex­pired goods from an­ar­chic shop­keep­ers

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - ANDISA BONANI

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.

Pic­tures: ANDISA BONANI

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

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