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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, May 23, 2022
HomeNewsLocal governmentDLCA Warns Supermarkets About Breaking Laws; Asks Consumers for Help

DLCA Warns Supermarkets About Breaking Laws; Asks Consumers for Help

Licensing and Consumer Affairs has been closely observing the service and conditions of several supermarkets licensed to do business in the Virgin Islands, according to a press release issued on Wednesday by the V.I. Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA).
Commissioner Devin Carrington said, “DLCA has received several reports from consumers concerning the deplorable conditions in supermarkets ranging from unclean floors to shelves that are dirty and in disarray. Of particular concern are reports concerning outdated food products on display for sale on supermarket shelves, rotten fruits and vegetables, and improperly functioning freezers that result in consumers purchasing meat products that are spoiled. Consumers, unfortunately, only realize they have purchased unusable items after they arrive home to use the product.”
“I’ve repeatedly advised the proprietors of these establishments that consumers in the Virgin Islands, like consumers stateside, have the right to receive the highest quality of produce and food items for the hard earned dollars they spend. This is especially so since the prices here are disproportionately higher than national rates. It is obvious that the days of inferior and outdated products rejected by stateside supermarkets being dumped in the Virgin Islands for sale are not behind us,” said Carrington. “I would hate to conclude that Virgin Islands consumers are somehow viewed by owners of these establishments as not worthy of the most exceptional treatment as consumers.”
The owners of these establishments are reminded that the commissioner has the authority to revoke, suspend or refuse to renew the license of any licensee where that licensee allows or permits at the licensed place of business any improper or wrongful behavior of a substantial character and of public concern.
“Certainly, a supermarket allowing the sale of inferior or spoiled items that may carry the risk of health concerns to consumers is wrongful and of serious public concern,” said the commissioner.
DLCA will continue to conduct its regular monitoring and inspections of these establishments, and issue citations where warranted. However, the public is asked to continue its vigilance. “It is with the help of consumers that the department is able to become more aware of the types of unacceptable conditions described here. I again stress that the consumer has much more power than most realize. Consumers should bring to the attention of store management that such inferior items being on the shelves is unacceptable. If concerns are not addressed, consumers should take any measure necessary to let other consumers know of the conditions. Negative publicity is never welcomed by businesses,” said Carrington.
DLCA is currently forming a Consumer Advocacy Group to report and address what the issues are when the public obtains or consumes goods and commodities in the territory. Individuals interested in serving as member of the Consumer Advocacy Group or who want to report concerns regarding business misconduct are asked to contact the DLCA at 714-3522 on St. Thomas, 713-3522 on St. Croix or 690-8036 on St. John.
 

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