Retail Food Group (RFG) has admitted to extending the use-by dates of products sold by Michel’s Patisserie stores.
An investigation by SMH alleges the group told franchisees to ignore original expiry dates and extend the shelf life of products including cakes, scrolls and edible decorations by two to six months.
A memo obtained by SMH reportedly stated edible plaques with an expiry date of 15 January were extended to 15 July.
“If you receive coloured plaques from this batch number that still denotes the original January expiry date, please disregard this and ensure staff are aware of the new expiry date,” reads the memo.
In response to the allegations, the group has admitted they “engaged with less than 1 per cent of its supplier network to request possible shelf life extension where appropriate and safe to do so”.
However, RFG has claimed any date extensions were approved by the original supplier. “RFG follows strict standards with regard to food quality and any product date extension was granted following written approval from the supplier and with consumer safety top of mind,” reads a statement to the ASX from the company.
RFG has since confirmed they are removing products with extended use-by dates from sale.
It’s the latest blow for the group, which was involved in a recent parliamentary inquiry. The final report released in March found the group mistreated franchisees and “damaged the reputation of franchising within Australia”.