Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Hundreds of expired goods removed from San Pedro stores


Before 2023 ended, the office of the Public Health Inspector in San Pedro Town indicated that several large stores and supermarkets were inspected following reports of expired goods on sale. The search led to removing many expired items that were condemned and destroyed.
Health Inspector Zane Bradley in San Pedro noted that additional personnel came from Belize City to tackle the task. The inspector said that such inspections are necessary to ensure consumer safety. Many of the inspected establishments reportedly had the expired items at half price. All these were confiscated, and although the fine can start from $250, there was no confirmation of anyone being fined. If the offense is repeated, it will lead to court action, and the trade license for a particular store or supermarket could be revoked. The inspector spoke about the importance of making sure households and businesses, such as restaurants, ensure they are not purchasing expired goods.
Bradley explained that at food handlers’ training, the importance of checking expiration dates is always mentioned. “Public health complaints like these are welcome,” he said. The inspections will continue and, according to Bradley, at random times across San Pedro. It was reiterated that selling these items is against the law and should not be displayed for sale. In most cases, a warning is given to the business proprietor, and all expired/damaged goods from the premises are removed.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness also deals with the issue nationwide and calls on the public to continue reporting these infractions. The ministry has noted the significant reasons for both expiration dates and “best before” labels. For example, “expiration dates” are placed for a reason. It indicates that the product is safe to consume on and before the printed date. “Best before” usually pertains to dry goods and signifies that the product has the best taste, quality, and nutrients by the given date. The public is reminded not to consider the popular idea that expired goods are still consumable six months after and discourages them from purchasing such items.
Expired goods pose a health hazard. Business establishments should adhere to the measures because they compromise public health and safety. Anything expired puts the consumer at risk for food poisoning. Some of these high-risk products include refrigerated or precooked foods, canned food, mayonnaise, and salad dressings. Additionally, expired foods can contain dangerous bacteria, which could lead to severe consequences if consumed.
The office of the health inspector in San Pedro takes the opportunity to encourage the general public to become more cautious when purchasing foods. He promotes that all items be thoroughly inspected for quality and should be appropriately sealed. Store owners are encouraged to buy more of what is regularly consumed and less of what is not in demand to avoid an excess of expiring items.
The effort to remove these hazardous expired goods continues, and the public can help. Anyone with questions, concerns, or a complaint can visit the office of the Public Health Inspector at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II.

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