Consumer upset after discovering fungus in packaged cake product

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Consumer upset after discovering fungus in packaged cake product

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A disgruntled customer has written the National Consumers Association (NCA) regarding an issue, where she purchased a packaged product and found fungus on the item.

In a letter dated Friday, February 5, 2016 and addressed to the NCA, Shakiner Johnny said she went into a Soufriere store and bought a Minute Bite Cake, which had fungus.

“It was only when I took a bite, and chewed on it, that I became suspicious of the fact the cake did not at all taste the way it usually does. This is when I ventured to open fully, the wrapper it was encased in, and break the cake in half; only to my disgust, I realized that the snack had been infected with fungus,” she explained.

While Johnny has not contacted the store at Soufriere, she did attempt to contact the management of the manufacturer of the snack, who agreed to compensate her for the purchase.

However, they have concluded that there were no fungi found in any of their products and it may have been a case where she purchased an expired product. But the package bore no expiry date.

“Not too long ago, I purchased a Vita Malt. After having ingested the drink in its entirety, I realized that the bottle had a thick layer of God-knows-what towards the bottom,” she added.

After taking the bottle to a recommended place in Vieux Fort for “testing,” it was concluded that there were only malt remains at the bottom of the bottle, which was a normal after the product remains in a position for a very long time. She was, however, not allowed to have the bottle back.

“Consumers in St. Lucia, like no every other consumer, need to be protected. Store proprietors and product manufacturers need to be engaged in using stringent quality control assessments,” she argued.

Johnny also believes that consumers have a right to be treated with all respect and fairness, as they are the patrons who keep afloat these businesses, which according to her, continuously provide the consuming public with second grade products and in some cases poor services.

“I am very disgusted, disgruntled and perturbed to my gut by this experience, she concluded.

The concerned consumer is seeking the NCA’s help in resolving this issue and to ensure that it doesn’t happen to anyone in Soufriere or any other consumer on the island.

The new Consumer Protection Bill was recently presented for reading in Parliament and debate in the Senate. This new bill is expected to address the many issues facing consumers here.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. The manufacturer always prints the expiry date. This product was either expired or there was a structural fault with the packaging which allowed air to get to the cake. This can happen during transportation or handling.

    The absence of an expiry date is fishy though. It is not an uncommon practice for unethical backwater retailers to use an diluted alchohol solution so remove expiry dates in an attempt to save money.

    You are well within your rights to press charges, however even if you sue this crook he probably doesnt even have the money to pay for a lawyer. Your best best is mess him up and call the VAT police. Pretty sure he collects VAT and does not pay it to the government. All crooks are alike.

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  2. Dear all

    I read the article on Shakiner Johnny's alleged experience in Soufriere with some trepidation, knowing that the office of the National Consumer Association (St. Lucia) Incorporated (NCA) is closed on Fridays and Mondays to the public., and that a letter dated Friday, February 5, and posted on that day, would not get to the NCA's post box at the Conway Car Park, would not get to us, until Tuesday, February 9, by the earliest.

    Suffice it to say, had Ms. Johnny contacted the NCA, we would no doubt advised her of her rights under the Civil Code of Saint Lucia, the Public Health Act, and direct her to the proper Government Agency to deal with her complaint, as we are mandated to do as consumer rights advocates.

    In the mean time, in the interest of time, if she is reading this communication, I want to suggest that she informs the Department of Consumer Affairs of her experience. She can reach them at 468-4224-4230.

    I wish to thank you for your concern for the right of this and other consumers in Saint Lucia, and wish to advise that you join the NCA in its campaign to promote and maintain consumer rights in Saint Lucia, in keeping with the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, and Chapter Eight of the REVISED TREATY OF CHAGUARAMAS ESTABLISHING THE CARIBBEAN. COMMUNITY INCLUDING THE CARICOM SINGLE MARKET AND ECONOMY. and ensure that the long awaited Consumer Protection Bill, passed in the House two Fridays ago, is passed in the Senate and is enacted.

    Sincerely

    Kingsley St. Hill

    Immediate Past President- NCA (tel: 452-2723).

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  3. People have become too lazy. Quick everything. Make your own cake, or buy local instead of all these packaged jac-en-sac. But the idea of a consumer protection bill is a great step in the right direction. However, we know all to well that St. Lucia is great for passing laws and bills, but we have a HORRIBLE track record in enforcing the laws and bills.

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  4. The consumer has their right to complain on the item they purchased . However,retailers must ensure and be noted on the expiry date of the goods before placing it on the shelves for sale .

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    • Thats besides the point you ignorant! People are getting away with sending the lousiest of goods to the caribbean...the point of the whole article is to raise awareness of the quality of product we bring in for mass-consumption.

      Tell me what relevance does the individuals choice of snack have to do with finding fungi in the item.

      Anyways...i have worked in a snack foods company before and this happens....machines make errors too...the sealing of that package just wasnt up to par...so moisture and air got in....simple...you got your refund...leave it at that...but i still bring the case to light of the odd snacks that we so willingly accept for sale in the country one doesnt even know if the ingredients are suitable for commercial-use yet alone for consumption.

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  5. So why didn't you think of informing the store so that the store can check their stock and remove from the shelves. To prevent others from making the same mistake. Instead you go direct to the producer (which isn't entirely wrong)

    Shakiner, I think you missed the most important thing in your ordeal/s.

    And that is "But the package bore no expiry date."

    After taking your bottle of Vita Malt to recommended place for testing, what's the name of the place.

    Because they SHOULD Not have held onto the specimen. That leads one to believe that they did discover something wrong. Parred you off with the above reason , held onto to bad bottle so that you couldn't go anywhere else to another opinion.

    You should ask the manufacturer why the hell do they products not have expiry dates?????

    Name and shame them I say.

    Why not disclose the shop in Soufriere where you purchased the cake and the company who tested the Malt.

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