East Bank supermarket owner facing charges over foreign labelled, expired foods

Seized candy bearing foreign labels and writing (Photo courtesy of the Government Analyst – Food and Drug Department)

Criminal charges have been filed against the owner of an East Bank Demerara supermarket after a search by the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) resulted in the discovery of scores of cans of “Anglo Corn Beef” with foreign labelling as well as a quantity of expired goods.

The GA-FDD yesterday announced the discovery, which included 63 cans of the foreign labelled corned beef, but did not name the business or give its location.

However, a reliable source told Stabroek News that the supermarket is located on the East Bank Demerara corridor and that criminal charges, which were filed on Thursday, are set to be called for the first hearing in a Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on July 6th, 2018. The proprietor has been charged with knowingly and deliberately offering foreign labelled and expired foods for sale.

In addition to the court case, the Department, in a press statement issued yesterday, urged consumers to only buy products labelled in English and which have all the required labelling information.

The Department reiterated to the general public and importers that under the Food and Drugs Regulations, it is a requirement that all foods, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices imported for sale or use in Guyana have labels that are in English and comply with the requirements of Section 18 (1) (2) of the Food and Drugs Act, which states the necessary information that the labels should carry.

The GA-FDD added that it has been observed that there are numerous foreign labelled food items being offered for sale on the local market.

“It is essential that regulated products be labelled in English, so persons offering these products for sale or those using them can clearly understand important information, such as their direction for use, expiry date, ingredients, name and address of manufacturer, storage condition and necessary precautions. This enables consumers or users to make informed choices on products,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the GA-FDD also announced the refusal of entry of Ovaltine and confectionary into the country within the last six weeks.

Confectionary from China with labelling that does not have the manufacturer’s address (Photo courtesy of the Government Analyst – Food and Drug Department)

According to the statement, “the Department has had cause to refuse entry to containers of food bringing foreign labelled “Ovaltine” from Vietnam on the 10th of May, 2018 and “Confectionery” from China on the 6th of June, 2018 that were labelled in a foreign language, had no address of manufacturer and/or… date marks.”

In the statement, the GA-FDD called on all consumers to carefully examine all food products before making purchases to ensure that these foods are labelled in English and contain all the required labelling information, which includes brand name, common name, net contents, ingredients, storage instructions, name and address of manufacturer or person preparing the food and the country of origin as well as expiry and manufacture dates.

Wholesalers and retailers, the statement added, also have a legal responsibility to ensure that wholesome foods reach the consumers with labels written in English. “The Department is calling on these proprietors to adhere to the Food and Drugs Regula-tion or face prosecution,” it stressed.


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