Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has partly attributed the presence of expired products on the country’s markets to customers’ negligence in reporting expired goods to the bureau.
Speaking in an interview, Chief Executive Officer for MBS, Davlin Chokazinga, said consumers could be partly blamed in as far as expired products being found on the market is concerned.
“The consumers are also at fault, they hardly report expired products that are still present in various shelves within the market,” said Chokazinga.
Chokazinga urged consumers to be vigilant and report timely on products that are expired to the board (MBS) so as to minimize their presence on the market.
“Consumers need to come together and be vigilant, if consumers frequently report all malpractices, sellers will not have a market to sell their expired products,” said Chokazinga.
Asked to explain some of the steps the bureau has put in place to curb the malpractice, Chokazinga observed that the bureau would continue to conduct its random inspections and confiscate any expired products found in various shops.
“As a bureau, we will not tire in our efforts of protecting Malawian citizens. We will still conduct various inspections and inform the general public to report anyone selling expired goods,” said Chokazinga.
Speaking in a separate interview, Consumers Association of Malawi chairperson, John Kapito said customers, indeed, have an important role to play in reporting expired products to MBS and that their negligence is partly crippling the operations of MBS in eliminating expired products from the market.
“Consumers are partly to blame. The challenge is that some traders hide these products away from the human eye,” claimed Kapito, adding that the tendency of low pricing of expired products attracts consumers’ attention, which, in return leads to purchase without regard to the contents of the product being purchased.
“The consumer naturally wants to purchase products at a bargain. Once they see a price reduction on certain items they don’t take time to look at the contents, they simply purchase it, this has made many consumers to purchase expired goods,” said Kapito.
The CAMA chief, therefore, noted there need for MBS to extensively carry on its mandate of checking regularly what products are being sold to consumers, saying: “MBS should frequently conduct its inspections so as to curb the malpractice of selling expired goods to the consumer.”