Tuck or spaza shops can be the lifeblood of townships as they provide food for communities far from supermarkets and shopping centres.
However, things can go awry when some of these small business owners sell fake or expired food to customers.
This has been especially prevalent in KwaZulu-Natal as police have been raiding stores suspected of selling counterfeit or gone off products.
To prevent yourself from falling for these life-threatening scams, you need to arm yourself with information.
Here is how you can spot fake food:
The National Department of Health stated that one method to recognise phoney foods is by their colour.
You can easily spot this in soft drinks, for a example, if you notice an abrupt colour change, without the brand having mentioned changes to their goods.
Spelling and grammar
Brands take care to make sure that their stock is up to par and that includes the marketing and labelling of products.
Glaring errors in spelling and grammar may indicate something sinister.
Yet again, branding is extremely important.
One true indicator of brand quality is its consistency. Seasoned businesses are not naive enough to have errors on their logo.
Though it could happen, this is very rare and you should not risk eating goods with a weird or different looking logo.
Terms you should know
This indicates that food after this date may no longer be edible. It applies to perishable food, such as the food in your refrigerator, and should no longer be eaten.
According to ASC Consultants, after that date, the meal's freshness may deteriorate owing to declining food qualities, the growth of hazardous micro-organisms, or the loss of nutritional content.
“Consuming expired food can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and fever. In severe cases, it can even lead to hospitalisation or, unfortunately, death,” said the organisation.
Manufacturers specify this date to inform merchants when to remove a product off the shelves.
The objective is to guarantee that buyers receive things in the best possible condition, which might range from several days to several weeks, depending on the item.
Milk, for example, should survive five to seven days after its sell-by date before going sour if properly refrigerated.
This is the deadline for ensuring the highest quality of a product while it is still on the shelf.