Expat workers arrested for tampering with dates on expired foodstuff in Oman
September 30, 2018 | 1:06 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: The field-enforcement team at the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) arrested expat workers who replaced the expiry dates for large quantities of perished foodstuff.

The accused were caught in the act by PACP when they were storing and tampering with the dates of expired products at a ware house in the Wilayat of Barka.

A statement online by PACP, read, “These expired items pose a grave threat to [people’s] health. An investigation led by PACP revealed that expat workers were storing foodstuff in a rented building in Barka without obtaining the relevant approvals and did that in an environment that did not meet the minimum health and safety requirements.

“The accused tampered with the dates of the expired foodstuff [and replaced them with] new expiry dates. [Officials also found that the workers were drying] dairy products to be converted into dried cheese in addition to vegetables used in the pickling industry, in a warehouse and a room used for housing. The expired foodstuff was being distributed to more than 15 commercial centres nationwide.

Officials revealed that when the building was inspected, the team found that the accused had added another six months to the expiry dates of products that expired in 2017.

“More than 11,005 labels with dates and forged data [that were] ready for use were seized, in addition to vehicles meant for transporting these goods. [The vehicles were seized because] they did not meet the requirements needed to deliver such goods to the market,” the statement by PACP read.

Yousuf bin Ahmed Al Riyami, Assistant Director of the Department said that this work is contrary to Article 3 of the Consumer Protection Law issued by Royal Decree No. 66/2014, which prohibits the trade in any commodity or provide any services without meeting all the special health and safety conditions and obtaining the licenses or permits from the competent body in the manner stipulated by the regulations. The article also stipulates that the provider and advertiser shall be under an obligation for transparency and credibility and shall refrain from any acts of misleading publicity and advertisement upon the promotion of the commodity or the services offered to the consumer.

Al Riyami added, “We appeal to everyone to cooperate with PACP to fight the greed of people who do not attach importance to the health and safety of consumers.”

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