Stores selling stale stock
SUPERMARKET shoppers are at risk from out of date food and drink left on the shelves, a political party warned yesterday.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong said that over a quarter of the supermarkets it surveyed were stocking goods that had passed their sell-by date.
A survey of 43 stores at the end of February found some glaring examples of lax management, the alliance said.
In one case, the alliance claimed, a major supermarket in Yuen Long was selling cooked ham dated February 1992 - two years out of date.
Another store from the same supermarket chain in Tai Po was offering a sausage that should have been removed from the shelves in June 1993, eight months before.
The survey found that an Aberdeen branch of a major convenience store chain was stocking milk that should have been sold four weeks previously.
In all, the survey found 47 out-of-date items, and a similar number were not marked with any manufacturing or use-by dates.
None of the supermarkets mentioned in the alliance's report could be contacted for comment.
However, an alliance spokesman said the position had improved since the previous survey.
''But the situation is still quite serious in Hunghom, Tai Po and the south of Hong Kong Island,'' the spokesman said.
He said Wellcome and Park 'N Shop had contacted the Consumer Council and pledged that they would not sell out-of-date goods.
''The alliance welcomes their attitude, and we hope the supermarkets will be able to keep to their promise and eradicate this problem.'' However, the Government also had to play its part, the alliance said. Food hygiene regulations had to be tightened, and the sell-by markings on food packagings had to be clearer.