WASHINGTON (FNS) -- A labor and consumer group here last week charged Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C., with selling a wide range of products with overdue expiration dates. The group, Consumers United with Employees, repeated earlier claims that the chain is selling out-of-date baby formula and released a report outlining more widespread infractions. The report examined inspection records from a number of states detailing more than 8,000 instances of the 1,000-store chain selling other products with overdue expiration dates, including packaged meats, seafood and over-the-counter medicines.
Supermarket industry associations strongly criticized the group's claims as irresponsible. The associations indicated that CUE's tie to labor unions is a motivating factor in the targeting of the nonunion Food Lion.
"We find it suspicious that Consumers United with Employees continues to focus on one specific company, which happens to be non-union," said a statement from the Food Marketing Institute here.
"Their attempt to disguise a labor dispute with a consumer issue is a disservice to the consumer," argued a spokesman for the National Grocers Association, Reston, Va..