Retail of Products containing Julian Coding

September 5, 2022

Expiry dates are required on consumable food products, as they have explicit nutritional compositions that could falter after the determined expiration date. Should a food product pass its expiration date, it must be discarded and not be used. Nevertheless, the issue underlying these expiration dates are the manner in which they are illustrated on the products. One such example is the Julian Code. Due to the coded numerical sequential, the Julian Codes expiry dates are not likely to be understood by an ordinary consumer (Section 13(3) of the Food Safety Act, and Section 21(10)(b) of the Regulation). For instance, the expiry dated ‘2007365’ (which represents 31 December 2007), requires specific expertise to decode the expiry dates, and consumers may not be able to articulate whether the product is near expiry or has expired. As a result, it violates consumers right to have adequate information.

The Council’s recent market surveillance has illustrated that renowned supermarkets within the Central, Northern, and Western Divisions are continuously retailing products (such as canned fruit salad, cream, and syrup, etc.) that have ‘Julian Code’ as expiry dates. The Food Safety Act and Regulations of 2003 and 2009 respectively, do not permit traders to decode the Julian Coding and present it up for sale to consumers. Consequently, the Council is calling out to consumers to be vigilant during their shopping, and should you encounter any trader retailing Julian Coded products, ensure to call us on our toll-free number 155. Alternatively, consumers can lodge complaints using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app or via the Council’s website

“Refrain from purchasing products (Julian Coded) that are not permitted by our legislations. Together we can be responsible citizens and can bring about a change in the types of products being sold in our market. Let our voices be HEARD!”