Thanks to Amazon, you can buy anything – from PlayStation consoles to home accessories – for knock-down prices, and you’ll get it within a couple of days. But one thing you should show extreme caution about when ordering from amazon is consumables. Why? The e-commerce giant’s third-party sellers are shipping food that are past their expiring dates.
Although Amazon has a history of selling counterfeit products, customers are baffled to find out that several “Grocery and Gourmet” listings have items that have long expired.
Some of the items listed include granola bar, beef jerky, coffee creamer, baby formula and several others that could send anyone who consumes them to the hospital. The listings also feature products like Hostess brownies and Teavana-branded tea products that haven’t been produced since 2017.
Amazon Not Doing Enough
Citing data from 3PM, a data firm, CNBC reports that over 40% of Amazon top sellers have reviews complaining about expired food. This news is coming just months after Amazon was found guilty of failing to protect consumers – by allowing their sellers deliver goods without ensuring consumer safety, prompting members of the US senate to ask Amazon’s boss Jeff Bezos to do something.
According to consultants and brands, it will only get worse as loopholes in the marketplace’s logistics system ensure there are no measures in place to reduce the proliferation of fake and expired items.
Amazon’s Ineffective Policy
Although Amazon has a policy in place that mandates sellers to inform them of products’ expiration date and also to ensure that products have at least, a 90-day shelf life from the day of purchase, this appears to be a mere formality. According to Thomas Gremilson of the Consumer Federation of America, sellers could be deliberately making money off the sale of expired products.
Amazon says it uses Machine Learning and reviews from buyers to study the millions of products listed on their website for quality and safety concerns. And according to a spokesperson, sellers violating its expired-products policy have their products or accounts flagged.
Evidently, Amazon is struggling to keep things in check, partly due to a drawback in the review process that enables the retail giant to take down negative reviews if the order was fulfilled through one of its warehouses.
While this could be a form of responsibility taking, it covers sellers of expired products and masks previous negative history that could act as a red flag to new buyers.
So if you must buy any food item from Amazon, make sure to check its expiring date before taking a bite. And if it has expired, use Amazon’s return center to log a complaint. You’ll be able to ship back the product and get a refund.