Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has implored members of the public to report local or foreign stores selling expired food products.
CCPC Public Relations Officer Rainfold Mutabi said the commission is mandated to protect the welfare of consumers and any retail or commercial stores found wanting will be severely dealt with.
Mr. Mutabi however explained that the commission has not received any proof of such a situation but it will ensure consumers are protected regardless of their income level.
The commission under Act Number 24 of 2010 prohibits the sale of expired products and ensures it punishes the offenders once proof is established,Mr. Mutabi.
We are engaged the Lusaka City Council (LCC) Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities in such an instance and verify the alleged expired food products.
This comes after the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition Alliance (CSO-SUN) called on relevant authorities such as CCPC, LCC Department of Public Health and Ministry of Health on the sale of expired products to low income communities.
Meanwhile, CSO-SUN Country Coordinator Mathews Mhuru said the alliance has not received feedback from relevant authorities.
Unfortunately, there has been no response to the matter with the seriousness it deserves,Mr. Mhuru.
The coordinator added that CSO-SUN will engage the Ministry of Health Food Safety Department to encourage the ministry to implement the Food Safety Act of 2019.
We have scheduled a meeting with the Ministry of Health through the Food Safety Department to discuss the matter at hand in detail and ensure such stores are brought to book,Mr. Mhuru.
He noted that once Food Safety Act of 2019 is fully implemented, such stores will find it difficult to exploit consumers mostly from low income communities.
The Act has good provisions but it is poorly implemented leading to stores taking advantage of the situation,Mr. Mhuru.
Mr. Mhuru further urged the Ministry of Health Food Safety Department and LCC to collaborate to check the labeling and expiry dates of food stuffs in informal markets.