Health Amazon is shipping expired food, from baby formula to old beef jerky, scaring consumers and putting

tom_mai78101

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Amazon’s sprawling marketplace, consisting of millions of third-party sellers, has become a go-to site for many grocery shoppers, especially since the company’s acquisition of Whole Foods over two years ago.

But an increasing number of consumers are finding that, just as the broader Amazon Marketplace has a major issue with counterfeits and unsafe products, the grocery section is littered with similarly problematic items in the form of expired foods.

From baby formula and coffee creamer to beef jerky and granola bars, items are arriving spoiled and well past their sell-by date, Amazon customers say. Interviews with brands, consumers, third-party sellers and consultants all point to loopholes in Amazon’s technology and logistics system that allow for expired items to proliferate with little to no accountability. Consumer safety advocates worry that as the marketplace grows, the problem will only get worse.

Within Amazon’s $900 billion empire, food sellers are among the more than 2.5 million businesses using the site for distribution, a group that now accounts for 58% of the company’s total merchandise sold. Third-party merchants sell products, new and used, from all over the world that they purchase from official distributors, flea markets and clearance aisles.

CNBC scanned the site’s Grocery & Gourmet category, finding customer complaints about expired hot sauce, beef jerky, granola bars, baby formula and baby food, as well as six-month-old Goldfish crackers and a 360-pack of coffee creamer that arrived with a “rancid smell.” A data analytics firm that specializes in the Amazon Marketplace recently analyzed the site’s 100 best-selling food products for CNBC and found that at least 40% of sellers had more than five customer complaints about expired goods.

Read more here. (CNBC)
 
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