Officials from Romania’s National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) have issued fines worth RON 7 mln for Lidl supermarkets across the country after finding moldy fruits and vegetables, expired or damaged food products, dirty displays and shelves, and irregularities with labeling or discrepancies between shelf and check out prices during inspections.
ANPC announced at the end of last week that it had carried out 307 inspections at Lidl supermarkets across the country since the beginning of the year. The inspections are part of ANPC’s efforts to monitor how large retail chains operating in Romania comply with the relevant legislation.
After the inspections, ANPC officials issued 481 fines totaling approximately RON 7.3 mln (EUR 1.48 mln), as well as 133 warnings. They also decided to permanently cease the sale of non-compliant products worth over RON 125,000 (EUR 25,400) and temporarily suspend services until deficiencies are remedied for 38 units located in the counties of Arad, Prahova, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara, Neamt, Iasi, Constanta, Olt, Dolj, Brasov, Alba, Mures, Bihor, Satu Mare, Salaj, Bistrita-Nasaud, Ilfov, and the city of Bucharest.
Additionally, ANPC agents brought attention to incorrect commercial practices in the case of 66 units. They decided to temporarily close a store in the municipality of Bacau for up to 6 months.
“I don’t know how this network operates in other countries. I hoped that they would be an example for everyone else at least in Romania, especially for us. I also don’t know if people eat moldy fruits and vegetables or if prices on the shelves don’t match those at the checkout in the country of origin of this operator. I wonder if, after the arrival of authorities in control and the application of sanctions, things are treated with the same superficiality and lack of interest,” said Horia Constantinescu, head of ANPC, cited by News.ro.
Among the violations found were: the sale of food products beyond their expiry dates; storage of unpackaged bakery products in boxes with dust and impurities; the use of showcases or refrigeration boxes without temperature monitoring graphs, damaged or unhygienic, with excess ice, deposits of dust, stains, food and packaging residues, rusted, torn seals; use of display shelves and trays that were damaged or unhygienic; use of unhygienic ovens, absence of prices on the shelves, non-compliance with promotion rules (lack of reference product on the shelf in the case of multipack products, lack of specifying the promotion period, etc.); inconsistencies between the prices of products on the shelf and those at the cash register; improper storage conditions with poor cleaning, and others.
(Photo source: Lidl Romania)