Harare is now flooded with expired goods on its streets, especially food items, and it is a cause for concern really. The possibility of serious health hazards is ominous.
The Standard revealed this worrying development, or perhaps, one that has always been there but only increasing sharply. The informal market is flooded with expired goods that are being sold at lower prices when compared to the prices of some reputable supermarkets.
You see, some of the prices in the supermarkets are a little bit too much for some consumers. Hence,it is so easy and affordable buying these same products on the streets. Some vendors are making a lot from selling these goods that are way past their date.
Some of the products being sold when they have expired include instant porridge, dairy products, tomato sauce and biscuits. They are mostly imported from South Africa.
Because of their cheap prices, people buy them with little regard to their expiry dates.
Then, there are some wholesalers who are offering massive discounts for expired goods to vendors. The proliferation of expired goods on the streets becomes too much.
People are ignoring the health hazards caused by consuming expired goods. And it’s very worrisome. While some expiry dates relate to changes in the taste of the product, consuming expired products can trigger food poisoning.
We wonder if people will change their conduct even after strong consumer education on the dangers of consuming expired products because as long as they shun the prices in the supermarkets and other shops, they will continue buying on the streets.
There should be stronger legislation on this.
Or, to say vendors should be removed from the streets, but then, all of this is a signal that the economy is not functioning properly and something must be done about the economy urgently.