A CNBC report has revealed that third-party sellers on Amazon are frequently shipping food that has long been expired.
Amazon Sellers Shipping Expired And Discontinued Food Products
Affected food products reportedly include baby formula, coffee creamer, granola bars, hot sauce, and beef jerky, which arrive spoiled and past their sell-by-date. Sellers also continue to sell and ship Hostess brownies and Teavana goods that have been discontinued since 2017.
CNBC scanned Amazon's Grocery & Gourmet category for reviews and found customer complaints about food products that arrived with "rancid smell."
A data analytics firm specializing in the Amazon Marketplace also analyzed the e-commerce site's 100 best-selling food products and found that at least 40 percent of sellers have more than five complaints about expired goods.
Human Reviews And AI Help Flag Products, Seller Accounts That Commit Violations
In response to the issue about expired food products sold in its marketplace, Amazon said that it took corrective action to ensure that the listings on its site comply with its standards.
The company said these were isolated incidents that did not require enforcement action against the sellers or removal of products.
It added that vendors are bound to honor the law and Amazon policies, which include a guarantee that any item they sell has a shelf life of at least 90 days. Amazon said it is using a mix of human reviews and AI to study feedback and help flag products or seller accounts that commit violations.
"We work hard to make sure customers receive high-quality products when they order from our store," a company spokesperson said. "We have robust processes in place to ensure customers receive products with sufficient shelf life.
Customers were advised to contact customer service directly about concerns they have for the items they purchased so Amazon can investigate and take appropriate action.