Wellcome supermarket chain, which is operated by Dairy Farm International, has come under fire again for selling expired, moldy or improperly labeled food.
On Thursday, the company pleaded guilty to four counts of violation of the public health and municipal services ordinance and was fined HK$11,500 by the Tsuen Wan Magistrates’ Court, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The supermarket chain was in the dock for selling expired or improperly labeled food in three stores in the Tsing Yi area in March this year.
Prosecutors said that some Yu Pin King sausages, Nestle Milky bars, Maid Brand’s black pepper ham slices and some orange juice cartons sold at a Wellcome outlet at Cheung Hong Estate were past their sell-by dates.
In another case, a store at Broadview Garden was found selling Nestle’s Carnation full cream evaporated milk without information on the the expiry dates.
Also, a store at Mayfair Gardens was said to have sold moldy broccoli.
Dairy Farm has seen a rise in the number of cases related to the sale of problematic food, the court heard.
According to prosecutors, so far there had been 61 instances of sale of expired products, 59 cases of sale of moldy food and 65 cases of sale of unmarked items.
Before seeking leniency from the judge, the defense lawyer acknowledged the proactive step taken by a vigilant citizen to bring to notice possible lapses at the company’s stores.
The individual who lodged the latest complaints is said to have been the same person who brought a case before the Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Court last week.
The lawyer promised Thursday that the supermarket chain will step up its product checks to prevent mis-selling in the future.
Random checks at all the stores will be increased to twice a day, the lawyer said, speaking on behalf of his client.
Last week, Dairy Farm was fined HK$46,000 after admitting to six counts of selling expired and improperly labeled food.
In that case, it pleaded guilty to selling expired and improperly marked food in three stores — at Tak Bo Garden in Kowloon Bay, Jade Mansion in Yau Ma Tei and Infinity Eight in Clearwater Bay Road.
Dairy Farm fined for rotten, expired Wellcome food (Dec. 3, 2015)
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