Health Department swoops down on ECD supermarket
…several expired products seized…criminal charges for repeat offenders – GA-FDD headThe Environmental Health Department of Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) swooped down on Saturday on a popular supermarket located at Vigilance, East Coast Demerara and seized thousands of expired products displayed on its shelves.Upon inspection of the products on display, the Buxton/Foulis district Environmental Health Officer (EHO) revealed that a number of items were expired. As such, the goods were seized from the supermarket shelves.The seized products included beverages, dairy products, condiments, and other commodities.GA-FDD head, Marlan ColeOver the last week, inspections were carried out by the department at numerous supermarkets, shops and outlets within the same area. A number of damaged and expired items were also seized at those places and destroyed.Checks are also made for the possession of sanitary certificates by those retailers who are subjected to have them.The purposes of these inspections are to improve the quality of food products being retailed to consumers, and improve the level of food safety in Guyana. The operation has been ongoing since October of last year.To reduce the amount of expired products on the market, retailers are asked to rotate the goods on the shelves and conduct checks for expiration dates, to ensure that all the products are of good quality. Consumers are also encouraged to check the quality of food items before purchasing them.Speaking with Guyana Times on the matter, Director of the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD), Marlan Cole, said these checks are regularly carried out by food and drug inspectors at supermarkets and restaurants.“If they are seen with expired items, they can either voluntary surrender the items and allow them to be destroyed. Or if it too frequent, the officers are able to initiate secure proceedings against them. It’s not a current practice, but it’s something [that] we have discussed at our recent food safety meeting. If we discover supermarkets and so forth that knowingly and deliberately sell expired items time after time, we would start a process of taking them before the court,” Cole told this publication on Saturday.