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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, officials announced Friday.

The big box store, whose Parsippany branch is in Arlington Plaza on Route 46, 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 nine 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 over an 18 month-long period. The Par-Troy Kmart and its fellow branches will now have to have two "date code inspectors" on hand to inspect dated items and keep a rotational calendar updated and on hand.

Kmart will also provide one year's worth of funding for random, unannounced inspections of its New Jersey stores by the Division of Consumer Affairs, 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. The Parsippany store was not on the list of stores found to have stocked the questionable products.

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