A team of inspectors from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), over the weekend uncovered some unscrupulous entrepreneurs/business people alleged to be in the act of selling expired goods on the Liberian market. During a robust inspection exercise on Friday, the team busted two warehouses of expired foodstuffs, including various juices, biscuits, beefs, powders, among others, within the Waterside market.
A. Nyema Wisner, Deputy Minister for Commerce and Trade Services, said the Ministry took initial action by closing the two business centers while awaiting further actions, including the disposal of the expired goods.
Other foodstuffs included were boiled corn, cartons of pepper candy, X-tra juice, Moringa, cream cartons, Pepsi, Vimto, mouth watch, cake, milk cartons, corn flake, beans among others.
Minister Wisner said the two business centers, ‘African Beauty Supply’ and ‘Three Star Business Center,’ were in the constant habit of putting expired goods on the market, which is imported from America and other parts of the world.
Sadly, Minister Wisner said, the owners of the two stores were involved in changing of the expired dates on goods before placing them on the market for consumption.
According to Minister Wisner, the Inspector General discovered that many of the goods being re-stamped had expired since 2016, describing it as worrisome for the consuming public and the Liberian market.
The two stores, he said, belong to a Lebanese only identified as Mr. Fahad, who operates in Liberia, adding, “The stores have two frontiers, one of which it was discovered belongs to the wife of Mr. Farhad, who is currently based in the US and normally sends goods to Liberia.”
He said the Ministry remains committed to protecting the Liberian market, ensuring that the Liberian people have the right food for consumption.
Minister Wisner said the Ministry is currently working with the line ministries and agencies to ensure that the expired goods are disposed of.
Additionally, “We are preparing to get all these goods off the market. We don’t need these goods for the market. These are things bought usually for our kids when preparing them for school,” he said.
“We will not allow business people to sell expired foodstuffs on the market. We have some of those business people bringing huge quantities without having the storage capacity for them,” Minister Wisner said.
He said it is frustrating to see such huge quantities of expired goods that are continuously placed on the Liberian market for consumption by business people.
“We have many people roaming the streets and don’t have the time or in the position to read expiration dates on food before consuming it,” he said.
Minister Wisner said it was also unfortunate and sad to see Liberians frowning at the decision made by authorities of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
“We want to call on business people to desist from the sale of expired goods. We need the support of everyone in order to remove the expired goods and stop the people from selling them,” he added.