The ABC reports that the court heard that the offence was of a serious nature as the formula would’ve become degraded over time, endangering young babies.
The court also heard that this wasn’t the first time Woolworths had been caught selling expired baby formula.
‘There is a lack of action by the defendant," Queensland Health’s barrister Stephanie Williams told the court. ‘A lack of motivation to implement training for staff.
‘They [Woolworths] have a recalcitrant attitude. It's too little, too late.’
But while Woolworths plead guilty to the charge and has show ‘significant remorse’, their barrister attempted to play down the seriousness of the offence claiming
‘These were dried items inside sealed containers with limited exposure to oxygen or sunlight,’ their barrister claimed.
However Magistrate Janelle Brassington dismissed this, saying the formula was ‘significantly passed it's used-by date’.
‘It is a serious breach of the legislation,’ she told the court. ‘Formula provides a sole source of nutrition for some infants.
‘They [infants] are extremely vulnerable. When you are dealing with infants aged 0-6 months the existence of any risk is of great concern.’
A Woolworths spokesperson told the ABC that they’d taken significant steps to make sure they were complying with food safety laws.
‘These include increased team training and additional date checks,’ the spokesperson said.
‘It's vital that our customers trust the integrity of our quality standards, and we're always striving to improve our processes to help us deliver on this.’