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Be vigilant with expiry dates – FDA cautions consumers

Head of Communication and Public Education at the FDA, has cautioned the general public to be mindful of instructions on the labels of consumable goods.

Mr. James Lartey made the assertions in an interview with host of the Rite Morning Ride on Tuesday during the ‘Food Safety, Nutrition and Hygiene’ segment of the show towards cautioning the public on the need to safeguard themselves from unwholesome consumable products.

While the FDA Head of Communication and Public Education said it is completely legal for a retailer to sell to consumers products which are about to expire, he nevertheless added that dates of manufacturing and expiration must be critically assessed when buying such products from the market.

James Lartey says even if it is left with just a day for the product to expire, the retailer can still sell at a reduced price but the onus lies on the consumer to check on the expiry date before buying.

The consumer is the strongest regulator, not the regulator,” he said on the Rite Morning Ride, Tuesday. “The expiry date is for the consumer to check and the seller to beware.”

Mr. Lartey said the expiry date is so important that a consumer must not fail to check when buying.

He observed that the significance of the instructions on the label is sufficient message from the manufacturer to the consumer that it can no longer guarantee the safety and healthiness of the food for consumption after the specified expiry date.

“If the manufacturer puts an expiry date on a product, what he is saying is that, don’t hold me responsible for anything if you consume it after the expiry date” he pointed out.

While the expiry date is important, the Head of Communication and Public Education at the FDA insisted that consumers must also check for instructions on the product, instructions which when ignored could compromise the quality of the product bought.

Mr. Lartey while cautioning the consuming public against products labeled in other languages other than English, described such practices as illegal which must be immediately reported to the FDA for the necessary actions to be taken.

“Every product should be labeled in English. If there is no English at all it means the regulator has not given approval. The manufacturer’s name and address must be on the product; manufacturing date and expiry date must also be on it. If the date has been altered don’t purchase it, alert the FDA,” James Lartey said.

The manufacturer cannot thus be held responsible for any health related challenges that the consumer may face, he added.

Source; Prince Paul Amuzu/www.ritefmonline.org/princeamuzu667@gmail.com





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