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Rite Aid

CVS and Rite Aid among more than 200 stores across the state cited by Attorney General for selling expired products

By Philip Anselmo

An investigation into more than 1,000 stores across the state by officers of the state attorney general found that many have been selling expired over-the-counter products — a total of 254 were cited, according to Products found expired on the shelves include: milk, eggs, medicine and baby formula.

As one might expect, the story has lit up the headlines in state and local queries online, and every media outlet seems to have its own special list of offenders in its neighborhood. Thanks to Wayne Fuller for breaking the story locally in his news roundup on the WBTA Web site. There's no doubt that the attorney general has sent out a mass of press releases all over the state this morning. I've never known that government office to be shy about garnering admiring press coverage.

Back to the story...

CVS and Rite Aid were the biggest offenders, and CVS here on West Main Street was found to be selling expired baby formula. A store in Long Island was found to be selling an allergy medication that had expired in June 2006.

From Newsday:

In response, the Rite Aid stores cited for stocking expired products "were told to make sure there is no such product on the shelf now," said Cheryl Slavinsky, director of public relations for Rite Aid.

"We are moving immediately across the nation to check all of our products," she said, as well as initiating a retraining program on related policies and procedures. "We do take the allegations ... very seriously. Our policies have always been not to have outdated products on our shelves."

CVS was equally repentent.

"Our policy is to remove items before they go beyond the expiration date," Mike DeAngelis, director of public relations at CVS, wrote in an e-mail. "We will work aggressively to ensure that our review and removal procedures are followed consistently in all of our stores. We value the trust our customers have placed in us to sell them products that are safe and effective, and the findings of New York's attorney general are unacceptable to us. ... We will cooperate fully with his office in this matter."

Check out the Buffalo News if you want the full story and a list of stores cited in Erie County. For a list of stores cited in the Rochester area, check out the Democrat & Chronicle.

All that being said, consumers should always be wary and check expiration dates on these types of products. No matter how diligent a grocer or retailer may be, there is always the occasional carton of milk that is left in the cooler maybe a few days too long. Then again, there's really no excuse for not weeding out medicine two years past its expiration.

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