|Food poisoning at supermarkets
News of near death of a small boy due to drinking some Coca Cola from a can with no expiry date prompts me to write this letter to warn the general public that there are many items of canned food and beverages without an expiry date stamped on them by the manufacturer. Instead, there are expiry dates pasted on the can by the retailer in the best name supermarkets of this country.
This practice has gone on for years and years and all my efforts to highlight this in the media have failed. The little boy, we understand from the media will have lifelong ill effects as a result of this poisoning.
Now let me tell the public what I know and what I think about these cans without a genuine expiry date. In western countries, all canned food items where the date for safe consumption has expired are given to contractors for burial. Decomposed prawns have been imported to the United States from Mexico as manure but have been sold after chemical treatment. Walter Cronkite the anchor man who was there before Dan Rather said that they were like pieces of rubber.
The United States would no doubt have put an end to that practice but not in Sri-Lanka. A few years ago it was reported in the media that the Sri-Lankan customs had seized 17 containers of canned fish and got them buried under police supervision.
When I asked the retailers why they insult the public by pasting expiry dates on their cans, they told me that it is the importer who has pasted the expiry dates. So how responsible are these so-called big names in the supermarket business? Consumers should learn to judge the super market not by the outward general appearance that it looks like a supermarket in the west but by their scruples.
Judging from what transpired into the investigation of the can of Coca Cola that nearly
killed the boy, it seems that Sri-Lanka is the only country in the world that has undated
canned food on the market shelves. Also, the fact that this particular can of Coca Cola
came from Singapore without an expiry date tends us to believe the possibility of expired
food items being re-canned without expiry dates and imported to this country. So when you
buy a can of food without a genuine date of expiry but a pasted date or a rubber stamped
date or with no date of expiry, please think of your children even if you dont care
about yourself. They are innocent.
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