TAIPEI, Taiwan - A former Pxmart Co. Ltd. employee, surnamed Chang, revealed that the supermarket chain store has sold expired food items during a press conference yesterday afternoon in Taipei. New Taipei City Government officials transferred the case to local prosecutors, who may charge Pxmart with forgery.
Chang said that the manager of the Pxmart Hsi Sheng branch, where she previously worked, told employees to repackage the expired items to pass them off as products nearing their expiration dates.
Chang also provided the prosecutors with photographs and videos of the employees' repackaging the expired items. New Taipei City's Public Health Department Deputy Director Lin Chin-fu said that the Health Department received reports on Pxmart on Aug 29 and Sept 1.
The officials went to the supermarket to inspect the affair on Sep 5. They found 30 expired meat products in the freezer and disposed of them on the spot.
According to a press release, the top management of Pxmart said that the supermarket chain has launched an internal investigation. Management also added that since Pxmart does not blame employees over the number of expired items in stock, employees have no reason to tamper with the labels and resell the expired products.
The managers of Pxmart also stressed that they monitor the quality of food products very carefully. They will also make sure that there are no false charges leveled against Pxmart or untruthful rumours being spread.
A spokesperson of Pxmart said that Chang was transferred to another location before leaving her position, and that Chang might have reasons to resent her previous supervisors.
Chang said that the expired food products started to pile up at the Hsi Sheng branch after three months had passed since its opening last November.
Chang said that "there are seven to eight expired items every day" and "during the Chinese New Year holidays, there are around 30 expired items per day."
According to Chang, the manager asked the employees to repackage the passable expired products, putting later expiry dates on the labels. Chang said that if the expired products did not look fresh, then the manager would ask the employees to use these products to make samples for the customers. Chang said that the manager also requested that employees purchase the expired products.
Chang added that she chose to reveal Pxmart's questionable practices to the public because she felt conscience-stricken and wanted to make sure that the Taiwanese public has safe food to eat.