The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cola major in date mess

The worst is yet to be over for multinational soft-drink major Coke. Based on a complaint from Raj Kumar Soni, a jewellery shop-owner in Metro Plaza, the city police seized a truck full of Coke products on Saturday. According to Soni, he was supplied with a crate of Coke products, which were beyond the best-before-use date (BBD).

“We offer cold drinks to customers and so we maintain a stock. The wrapper of the crate that the salesman came to deliver to us was really dirty and so I wanted to check the manufacturing date of the products,” said Soni of Jagdamba Jewellers in Metro Plaza. “I found that the manufacturing date was 25.6.2003. The products are of best quality till three months and so I wanted an explanation from the delivery man,” he added.

As the delivery man could not provide any explanation, Soni and the other shop-owners of the supermarket contacted the Shakespeare Sarani police station, who seized the truck.

“Out of the 27 bottles each of Thums Up and Coke, and 72 bottles of Limca, we found 81 to have passed BBD,” said an official of the police station. The product samples have been sent to the testing laboratory of Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

“We expect the test results by the next week and a case will be prepared against the company based on the results,” he added.

Reacting to the incident, Utpal Chatterjee of Diamond Beverages, one of the biggest bottling plants of Coke, said: “Our route trucks are selling to the retailers after sorting the stocks. This could be an inadvertent oversight by the salesman.” He added that the company was investigating the incident to ensure delivery of only fresh products to customers.

The Federation of Consumer Associations in West Bengal has also stepped in. “We have collected samples and sent them for tests in our laboratory. We plan to take up the case with the company after the results come in. It is the company’s responsibility to ensure delivery of fresh products,” said Mala Bandyopadhyay, federation president.

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