Selling expired food products

That the most trying period of lockdown, when exactly no one knew one’s fate in case of the slightest carefree approach of a minute which could prove disastrous due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, should immorally and unethically be exploited by some unscrupulous shopkeepers in Jammu and its peripheral areas, is absolutely shocking. We have reports that not only sub-standard goods were being sold, goods other than chosen by the consumers thrust on them citing non arrival of fresh stocks but expired food products were openly sold and that also with impunity. As if the unchecked menace of adulteration of milk and milk products, sweets, ghee, oil, pulses, spices etc in Jammu was any less troubling, some shopkeepers thought these crucial and testing hours opportune to push sale their stocks of expired biscuits, packaged juices, cakes, oil, soya chunks, pulses, spices and other items of use. That the particular type of tamarind which is meant for industrial use and for cleansing purposes only but never for human consumption, should also be sold as genuine one without fear and when brought into the notice of the shopkeeper, he unconscionably argues selling the same for years and why should anyone “have objection” now , is disgusting and nauseating?
While food inspectors, anti adulteration squads, municipality authorities etc are supposed to be looking to this area knowing fully that certain elements from the trading community could plummet to such low levels so as to play with the lives of the people amidst the prevailing threat scenario of Coronavirus, they are nowhere to be seen. It is strange that while people are required to tone up their immunity system and physical strength by consuming fresh, unexpired and genuine food items to attempt to resist the dreaded virus, they at certain places should get, against their hard earned money, such a stuff which had potentiality to impair their body organs, looks unbelievable. It may be absolutely clear as we have reports to that effect, that there were no shortages of goods nor any disruption in supplying of goods, even non essential ones, anyone taking the alibis of “out of stocks”, and “no fresh supplies” was tantamount to deceiving unsuspecting customers besides even spreading rumours.
We cannot afford to police each and every activity, in streets, bazaar, lanes, colonies etc as morally speaking, no one is expected to indulge in such a dishonest and unfair manner by selling such stuff by exploiting the tight position of the customers who hurriedly want to shop and go home as quickly as possible for obvious reasons. There is something which is called professional ethics, morality, propriety and introspection and that totally rules out any breach in such elementary standards of humanity. If that is found missing in certain instances, then such culprits should be named, shamed and duly punished. In these abnormal days, it is enjoined upon each one of us to see we helped one another especially the needy ones who should not feel forlorn and abandoned. Even if some think that to be an expendable and unaffordable proposition, at least selling hazardous and unfit for consumption food items could be avoided. On the other hand, concerned officials from Food Safety and other concerned agencies of the Government should not only be “seen” symbolically present on the eve of festivals like Deepawali “destroying ” some spurious khoya never to be seen thereafter. Their presence, hard work and action on the ground round the year is required.