BMA tampers with rules on hampers

City Hall wants to inspect each item in your gift basket in case it is an expired food product or, worse, demon rum. (FB/zaapclassic)

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) officials will examine New Year hampers being sold during the festive period to make sure they do not contain products that have expired or alcoholic beverages.

City Hall has told all 50 BMA district offices to examine hampers from now right through Chinese New Year in February, Bangkok deputy governor Thaweesak Lertprapan warned Wednesday.

Mr Thaweesak said common complaints about hampers are that some are of poor quality and include products that have passed their expiry date.

He said Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang is concerned about this because hampers are popular gifts, especially for the elderly during the festive period.

This year, the BMA has overhauled the rules on hampers being sold in the capital, he said.

People who are unhappy with quality of the products must be able to change or return them by Feb 28.

Regarding fresh fruit and vegetables in hampers, they can remain on sale for no longer than three days.

Mr Thaweesak said retailers should really look to pack fruit into hampers immediately before being sold to customers.

Another measure is that community and local products must have labels indicating "community and local products", he noted.

All baskets must display expiry dates of products on labels that should be clearly visible, Mr Thaweesak said, adding flouting the regulation would result in a fine of up to 30,000 baht, based on the the 1979 Food Act.

No alcoholic beverages must be placed in hampers for sale, he said, adding offenders could face a jail term of up to six months and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.

The ban is being imposed because authorities believe that consumers are directly or indirectly being forced to buy alcohol drinks if they are included in hampers.

"The BMA would like to call on all retailers selling hampers to strictly comply with these measures," said Mr Thaweesak.

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