2 Mar 2009

Calls for great vigilence over food expiry dates in American Samoa

6:41 am on 2 March 2009

In American Samoa, there are increasing complaints about stores selling outdated food items instead of throwing them away.

Local media reports say that some stores are selling soft drinks and snacks whose use by dates have expired, at reduced prices.

One caller to a local radio station said a store in Atuu was reported to have scratched off the expiration date and inserting a new date.

But the caller said the original date from last year was still visible.

The caller also complained that health inspectors were not vigilant in ensuring that food items are safe for public consumption.

The acting Director of Health Tuiasina Dr Salamo Laumoli, agrees.

Tuiasina says the environmental health and sanitation division performs a very important function but that there is poor leadership in this division.

Meanwhile, some health inspectors are at the core of a pending litigation by owners of a store who allege that officials discarded goods from their business, which had not expired .

The incident took place under the tenure of the previous director of health.