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Production date from many moons ago on mid-autumn treats

A food manufacturer in Beijing is defending the “freshness” of its mooncakes after a customer questioned two different production dates on packaging, one from more than a year ago.

A spokesperson for the Beijing Er Shang Group, whose dual-dated mooncakes were being sold in Beijing supermarkets, said the packaging had been reused from last year but the mooncakes were freshly made, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

A customer, whose full name was not disclosed, noticed two production dates – one for August 21 this year and the other from August 1 last year – on packages of mooncakes he bought at a local supermarket.

The mooncakes are good for up to 60 days, according to the packaging. “If the first date is true, the mooncakes have been expired for almost a year,” the customer said.

Many of the same company’s mooncakes in other supermarkets also showed the 2015 production date, which had not been completely erased, the report said.

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The supermarket that sold the mooncakes in question rejected the customer’s request for tenfold compensation and removed the product from its shelves.

A supermarket employee said the products were mistakenly put on the shelves due to a glut of mooncake supplies recently. He would not comment on whether the store holds any responsibility but said the information had been reported to the producers.

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The manufacturer’s spokesperson said the company would not pay any compensation, and insisted on the freshness of the mooncakes.

Chen Shu, a lawyer in Beijing, said that if the producers could not prove that mooncakes were made this August, customers have the right to ask for compensation.

The Beijing Food and Drug Administration is investigating the case.