Published: 2018-06-13 18:09
Last Updated: 2018-06-14 11:27
Jordan’s National Society for Consumer Protection (NSCP) cautioned the public that food products on the local market, especially sweets, may fail to meet requirements due to improper storage or sellers manually changing the best-before date displayed on packaging.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the NSCP asserted that the practice of tampering with the production date, though against regulations, is still commonplace.
The agency pointed out that factors such as sales offers and discounts during the holiday period and low purchasing power of customers due to the harsh economic situation expose customers to higher risks of encountering defective products.
The number of complaints the NSCP has received from customers during the last week of the month of Ramadan alone has seen a sharp increase, which has caused the agency to carry out inspections to some of the shops in order to verify whether infractions were committed.
NSCP President, Mohammad Obeidat, verified that some stores indeed sold expired goods. He indicated that traders resorted to erasing the production and expiration dates or placing stickers with new expiration dates on top, distributing products that were unsuitable for consumption.
Obeidat also described other ways customers could be tricked into buying food products that do not meet health standards despite not being expired. Improper packaging, exposure to light and heat, and other conditions could lead to making goods unfit for human consumption, he explained.
The president cautioned against buying food from street vendors and sidewalks and implored customers to inspect food thoroughly before purchase in order to avoid adverse health effects. He also reminded citizens to request a receipt which can be used as proof of purchase in the case of a medical emergency.
A prominent example of a food product whose production date cannot be accurately pinpointed are sweets. Since cakes, for instance, are displayed without packaging, best-before labels can easily be changed on a daily basis without much oversight.
The NSCP isn’t the only authority monitoring market compliance with regulations. The Health and Occupational Control Department in the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) also increased their inspections during Ramadan.
In the first three days of the holy month alone GAM destroyed 4,562 liters of beverages and 434 kilograms of food deemed harmful for consumption.