EXPIRED products valued at K19,600.000 were confiscated from shops in seven towns by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) between February and April this year, says head of marketing and public relations Hazel Zulu.
Ms Zulu named the towns as Solwezi, Mongu, Chipata, Chingola, Livingstone, Kitwe and Ndola.
“Between February and April 2016, the bureau confiscated expired products from Solwezi, Mongu, Chipata and Chingola, Livingstone, Kitwe and Ndola which included big chain stores,’’ she said.
She said the value of the goods confiscated did not include the penalties that each of the shop owners had to pay for selling expired products.
Meanwhile, Ms Zulu said ZABS on the Copperbelt alone confiscated various expired products worth K4, 248.38 from various shops such as Spar, ZC, Quick Save, Broadway in Ndola, SGC Pamodzi Kwikmart Kitwe, and Shoprite Luanshya.
Ms Zulu said the products that were seized included Mazoe orange crush, Squillos, Marshmellows, All Bran Flakes, and fruit juices among others. Other products include Futurelife smart foods, Alfa mayonnaise and strawberry jam.
She called on consumers to be alert and avoid buying expired products because their quality could not be guaranteed and was therefore a health risk to consumers.
She said the bureau was urging consumers to be vigilant and alert and always check expiry dates before making a purchase.
“It is against this background that we want to make an earnest appeal to consumers across the country to consciously take time to read product details before they make the final decision to buy any product.
“Additionally, traders should employ a comprehensive stock rotation plan to ensure that products are sold on a first-in, first- out basis to avoid keeping goods that have expired due to poor warehousing practices,” he said.
Ms Zulu said ZABS worked to ensure that the health and safety of the public was safeguarded and that only products meeting the set standards were sold on the market.