17 January 2013

Namibia: Shoprite Sells 'Expired Milk'

Windhoek — A regular customer at U-Save Shoprite in the Soweto residential area is dismayed that the shop has been selling expired milk products this past week.

Nghifikwa Hamutenya, a regular customer at the retail supermarket went to buy Omaere for his daughter and felt very badly let down when he discovered that the Omaere on the shelf had expired two days ago.

"I felt very bad because my daughter slept on an empty stomach, because it was too late already and I couldn't go to any other shop since they were closed by that time," Hamutenya related.

Hamutenya went on to say that he was "very disappointed because he didn't expect to find expired products in such big retail shop". New Era visited the shop yesterday and can confirm the validity of the complaint and its journalists found expired Omaere and Oshikandela on the shelves. It also came to this newspaper's attention that there were several dairy products that will expire during the course of this week.

The expiry dates range from January 12, 2013, January 13, 2013 to January 15, 2013, while those that will expire during the course of the week range from January 17, 2013, January 18, 2013 to January 20, 2013.

To get to the bottom of the matter New Era called an employee of Namibia Dairies, responsible for shelving milk products to explain why expired products are kept on the shelves way past their sell-by dates.

He said he was unaware that there were expired milk products on the shelves. He thanked the reporters for bringing the matter to his attention, after which he removed the expired products from the shelves.

When reached for comment on the matter, a manager at the U-Save shop who only identified himself as Javel said he was unaware of the complaint.

"I'm not so sure about that," he said, adding that the shop has a "full return policy".

This means that expired products can be returned to the supplier, who in this case, is Namibia Diaries.

According to Javel, the shop rarely receives complaints of this nature, but he referred to an incident last year, when a customer purchased expired milk, but returned it without any trouble.

Javel said the representatives of the supplier are responsible for stock rotation to prevent such situations. He added that this particular incident could be linked to laziness on the part of the supplier's representative, who failed to ascertain that the products on the shelves are not fresh and near expiring.

Furthermore, the Manager for Corporate Communications and Customer Care at the City of Windhoek, Joshua Amukugo, said the City of Windhoek's health inspectors are always in the field moving from shop to shop to inspect if there are expired products.

He said if any retailers are guilty of keeping expired products on their shelves, the health inspectors would usually instruct the shop managers to remove the products with immediate effect.

"If they fail to do so they (inspectors) will temporarily remove the licence for selling those [expired] products for the mean time until investigations are completed," Amukugo said.

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