By Dipo Olowookere
The Abuja premises of Apple & Pears Ltd, makers of some food products like Laziz vegetable oil, Laziz salad and Laziz mayonnaise has been sealed by the federal government.
The firm was shut down by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) after it received information from consumers that the company was allegedly selling expired products.
A statement by the CEO of the agency, Mr Babatunde Irukera, disclosed that the organisation was closed his men on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.
Mr Irukera said during the operation, the commission uncovered what appeared to be unapproved and unsafe production, decanting or repackaging of vegetable oil at the Abuja location.
He said during investigations to the Abuja office and another located on the popular Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, unreasonably large and inexplicable inventories of Laziz salad cream, Laziz mayonnaise, Laziz vegetable oil in sachets and Laziz Thousand Island salad cream were discovered.
In view of this, the premises of the company have been shut down until the commission and NAFDAC have confiscated the expired or unwholesome products.
“The FCCPC became aware of representations appearing to show that a consumer, (and presumably others) purchased Laziz vegetable oil in sachets produced by Apple & Pears Ltd from the retail/storage location in Abuja.
“The representation suggested that the food products purchased were expired, even at the time of purchase.
“Upon further investigation and reconnaissance, the commission discovered the company’s primary facility on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“Although locked, innocuous and without signage, the commission also identified the specific location in Abuja where the company had stored its products.
“Having sufficient initial evidence to proceed on enforcement, the commission conducted investigations at both the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and Abuja locations.
“The commission discovered unreasonably large and inexplicable inventories of Laziz salad cream, Laziz mayonnaise, Laziz vegetable oil in sachets and Laziz Thousand Island salad cream.
“In addition, the commission uncovered what appears to be unapproved and unsafe production, decanting or repackaging of vegetable oil at the Abuja location.
“The location in Abuja is currently under seal by the commission and will remain so until the commission and NAFDAC have confiscated the expired or unwholesome products and are otherwise satisfied that Apples & Pears can and will operate safely and legally,” the statement said.
Concluding, FCCPC applauded “the patriotism of those who bring these pieces of information to the commission’s attention and encourage consumers to exercise their prerogative and discretion to notify the commission of conduct that is considered unsafe, illegal and unsatisfactory.”
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