Trenton, N.J. In response to a suit filed by New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs, Rite Aid has agreed to pay $475,000 to settle civil charges that the drug store chain sold expired over-the-counter drugs, infant formula, baby food and other products.
The company, which also operates Eckerd stores, faces an additional $175,000 penalty if it fails to comply with the settlement terms during the next 12 months, the state Division of Consumer Affairs said on Monday. The state sued Rite Aid in October 2006, alleging it found expired merchandise being sold at 42 of the 104 Rite Aid stores that investigators visited in New Jersey.
Officials also charged the chain sold products for more than the shelf price. As part of the settlement, in which Rite Aid does not admit wrongdoing, the company agreed to not sell expired products and to check expiration dates before stocking merchandise on the shelves.
Rite Aid also has implemented policies to inspect periodically and remove products that have expired, the state said.
"Expired products have no place on the shelves of New Jersey stores, and as this settlement makes clear, the law requires Rite Aid to make sure product dates are checked and requires that out-of-date products are not offered for sale," Attorney General Anne Milgram said in a statement.
According to a Rite Aid spokeswoman, the company never intended to sell outdated products and last week ordered a nationwide check of its more than 5,000 stores to ensure no expired merchandise was on the shelves.