Article – Expiration date of perishable foods: evaluation of compliance with current legal regulations in large Venezuelan supermarkets

Introduction: The expiration date indicates the useful life of the food, offering from its packaging not only a health alert, but also a sensory and nutritional quality of the product. As in Venezuela it is mandatory legal compliance for manufacturers and
retailers to make this information visible on the packages. Objective: Evaluate their current level of compliance.

Materialand method: Seven establishments from five large supermarket chains were visited, where the proper use or not of theexpiration declaration on highly perishable products such as meat, dairy products and eggs was evaluated. Results: 6066packages or containers were verified, corresponding to 2022 food products of different commercial brands where 40.10%(n=811) managed to adhere to faithful compliance with health regulations, but not 59.89% (n=1211) complementary. The lowest compliance was 4.88% (n=26) in meat products packaged in the same supermarket, as well as 22.06% (n=62) in dairy
products also handled and repackaged in the establishment.

Conclusion: A large public health problem is detected in non- compliance with the declaration of expiration of food, which requires orchestrated work between authorities, manufacturers, distributors and consumers to reduce all possible associated risks.