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September 9, 1999

California District Attorney Sues Save Mart for Allegedly Selling Expired Infant Formula and Other Products

MERCED, CA (SafetyAlerts) - A consumer lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Merced Superior Court alleging that the California supermarket chain sold expired infant formula and other expired date stamped products throughout most of their stores.  The expired products were allegedly sold during the last several years and the practice was stopped only after the Merced and Fresno County District Attorney's offices notified company officials.

According to Gordon Spencer, Merced County District Attorney, the sale of expired infant formula and other expired products was prevalent throughout the Save Mart system, with some products nearly two years past the expiration date.  He noted that infant formula, which costs nearly $20.00 a gallon, loses some of its nutritional value if sold beyond the expiration date.

"Parents pay a premium dollar for infant formula in the belief that it will provide the maximum nutritional value to their children.  For at least two years, Save Mart customers throughout California were purchasing infant formula well past the expiration date listed on the cans by the product manufacturer.  Infant formula is extremely expensive, especially compared to regular milk.  The very least a parent is entitled to when purchasing $20 a gallon infant formula is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you've given your infant the freshest and safest product available.  Unfortunately, Save mart customers did not have that assurance," Spencer said.

According to Spencer and Alan Yengoyan, head of the Fresno County Consumer Protection Division, the lawsuit stemmed from the continuing investigation into the sale of expired products by retailers throughout the state.   In June of this year Rite Aide drug stores settled a similar lawsuit brought by four District Attorneys and the City Attorney of San Diego for $1.4 million.

Consumers are urged to check the dates of infant formula and other products purchased at these stores.  Questions concerning this suit can be directed to the Merced District Attorney at 209-385-7381


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