RIYADH – The Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently confiscated 2700 cartons of canned tuna after the manufacturer replaced the original expiry date labels on the cans with newer ones.
Fahd Al-Huthaili, director general of the Department for Combating Commercial Fraud at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, told Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper that the manufacturer had violated ministry regulations that require manufacturers to place a single label on food products that specifies both production and expiry dates.
The manufacturer had placed two labels on the packages. The first one had the original dates (production: 10/2011 and expiry: 10/2012), while another label in which the expiry date was changed to 10/2013, was used to cover the first label. Al-Huthaili said although the original expiry date had not yet passed, the cans were confiscated due the manufacturer’s violation of ministry regulations.
Al-Huthaili added that the ministry received a complaint from a citizen and subsequently sent inspectors to various markets in different provinces to investigate. When inspectors confirmed the discrepancy in labels, the ministry contacted the relevant authorities, confiscated the cans and issued a warning to all distributors against selling the brand.
Al-Huthaili said a decision has not yet been made on what will become of the confiscated tuna cans but they are likely to be distributed to charities since they have not yet expired.
“The ministry donates tuna products that are valid for more than six months to charities.
However, using products that are still valid is up to the ministry and will be decided in accordance with its system but it is expected that they will be distributed to various charities.” — SG