Ask LH: How Do I Report A Shop For Selling Off Food?

Image: iStock

Dear Lifehacker, I bought some pork rolls and fried pork cakes from an Asian grocery shop in April. I did not check the expired date until my family finished the first fried pork cake. I then saw on the label "use by 24FEB2017". I called the shop today and the staff there did not say sorry to me but spoke to me as if that is not their responsibility. They just told me to bring the foods to the shop and talk directly to them. So, I am writing to ask you what I should do in this case? Should I let any officer know about this matter? Thanks, Duon

Dear Duon,

Though businesses are allowed to sell products past a Best Before date, selling them past a Use By date is illegal. These guidelines are put in place by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Food Standards recommends sending through the following information in a complaint:

Image: Food Standards Australia New Zealand

I would also recommend taking a few photos as evidence.

Here are the contact details of departments you can complain to, by state:

Australian Captital Territory

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

As for whether you go to the store or take this directly to the authorities, that's your call. The complaint is always an option, should they fail to handle the situation. It's possible that it's a simple - and rare - case of human error. It's also possible that you'd be protecting future customers of the store by taking things further.

Cheers

Lifehacker

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Comments

    They just told me to bring the foods to the shop and talk directly to them. So, I am writing to ask you what I should do in this case?

    Umm, gee... how about... bringing the foods to the shop and talking directly to them?

      Exactly! You'll either get your money back or a replacement item. People make mistakes, and i can tell you first hand that missing one item out of 1000's is very easy to do when doing markdowns, code checks, etc. It's an honest mistake, they weren't deliberately trying to kill you. "You you tell an officer" seriously? you sound like the kind of person that calls an ambulance for a sore stomach.

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