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State, Kmart Reach Settlement Over Expired Medications, Baby Formula

Fines, increased inspections required for big box retailer

Kmart will pay $302,500, donate $25,000 worth of infant formula to charity, pay for continued unannounced state inspections, and implement new product inspection measures as part of a settlement with the state Division of Consumer Affairs, authorities announced Friday.

The big box store had been found to have sold or offered for sale expired infant formula and non-prescription medications, the state agency said in a prepared statement.

During inspections, inspectors found 257 packages of infant formula, as well as non-prescription medications, that were between 9 months to 29 months past the expiration date,  but still available for purchase on the shelves at 19 stores in 13 counties.

In addition to the fine and donation, Kmart will appoint two senior level management employees for 18 months to serve as compliance liaisons with the state. They will conduct unannounced inspections of Kmart’s New Jersey stores to identify expiring and expired products, and review the stores’ compliance with Kmart’s policies regarding the expiration dates of infant formula and non-prescription medication, the statement said. 

At least 20 of Kmart’s New Jersey stores will be inspected each quarter, the settlement requires.

The compliance liaisons will then submit quarterly reports to the Division of Consumer Affairs, and meet with state inspectors for an 18 month-long period. Each Kmart store will now have to have two "date code inspectors" on hand who will inspect dated items and keep a rotational calendar updated and on hand.

Kmart will also provide funding for random, unannounced inspections of its New Jersey stores by the Division of Consumer Affairs, continuing for one year, according to the settlement.

The expired items were found in stores located in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, and Somerset counties. A Kmart is located on the corner of Route 36 and Monmouth Road in West Long Branch, but it is unknown if it is where the expired items were found.

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