The mysterious appearance of food packets, with expiry dates going back as far as 1995, on Silliman Beach in Bantayan, Dumaguete City, recently, continues to baffle local officials.
Angeline Gonzalez, chief of the Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Division of the provincial Department of Trade and Industry, said she contacted the distributor of these expired products, but they claimed they had no idea how these items found their way to the shores of Bantayan.
The distributor explained that normally, expired or bad products are taken down the store shelves and returned to the head office in Metro Manila, she added.
Gonzalez assured that the DTI will coordinate with the Bureau of Food and Drugs and the Department of Health for guidance on what actions to take. She added that while it is BFAD that should investigate the circumstances behind the unusual occurrence, the DTI also has a stake, considering that consumers retrieved the expired items from the sea.
The local BFAD, headed by Vicky Sibala, has requested samples to be brought to her office, Gonzalez said, adding that the procedure in the disposal of expired perishable items, and the authority to monitor and control these, fall under the BFAD.
Residents near Silliman Beach retrieved from the sea and shorelines an undetermined volume of foil-packaged beverage drinks, with brands like Milo, Nescafe, Bear Brand and Nestogen, on February 6.
Several adults and children partook of the drinks despite being told that they were expired.
Early this week, a fisherman found expired packets of seasoning, also off Silliman Beach. Samples have been submitted to concerned offices.*JFP
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