Black Friday: Consumers urged to exercise caution when buying goods

Black Friday: Consumers urged to exercise caution when buying goods

The Department of Health has urged consumers to exercise extra caution when buying goods, especially food,  during the Black Friday shopping frenzy.

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Consumers are urged to prioritise quality and safety over quantity and savings to mitigate against buying counterfeit and expired foodstuffs.

The Christmas shopping frenzy tradition kicked off on Friday morning with some stores already running massive sales of up to 80% until the first week of December.

Department spokesperson Foster Mohale says it is important for consumers to guard against purchasing counterfeit and expired foodstuffs by thoroughly checking food labelling and expiry dates on food items to prevent ongoing sporadic cases of life-threatening food poisoning.

"Food consumers are reminded to be on the lookout and report any suspicious goods sold by the outlets and retailers to Environmental Health Practitioners or Food Inspectors at their nearest municipal offices or Consumer Goods Council of South Africa.

"Tips to identify possible illicit food products are: colour would normally differ from the original because incorrect additives were used to manufacture the fake products; inconsistency in the texture; smell and colour of the product; check if manufacturing and expiry date are not adulterated with or damaged, or not clearly visible; check the nutrition label on supplement and food items, because in most cases fake goods contain some discrepancy in listing the ingredients; carefully look at the packaging if it is not suspicious because counterfeiters produce close replicas, but mostly cannot perfect it."

This as consumption of expired and counterfeit foods can pose serious health risks, including food poisoning, allergic reaction and long-term health complications.


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