February 28, 2019

Can grocery stores sell meat if package's vacuum seal is broken?

Dear Consumer Ed:

Can grocery stores sell meat in vacuum-sealed plastic packages if the seal is broken?  I’ve noticed several big name stores that will offer manager’s specials for such products, but I thought it was illegal to sell them if the vacuum seal is broken.

Consumer Ed says: 

For the answer to this question, we consulted the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

You are correct. Georgia law requires that food packages be in good condition to protect the integrity of the contents so that the food is not exposed to adulteration or potential contaminants. The Rules of the Georgia Department of Agriculture prohibit selling meat in a vacuum-sealed package if the seal is broken.

You may file a complaint against the grocery store by contacting the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Division at (404) 656-3621 or emailing [email protected].

Submit your own question to Consumer Ed.  Remember…we do not give legal advice. Always consult a lawyer about legal issues. 

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