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Charlebois: Some Metro food stores allow reusable containers. Good idea

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The Metro family of grocery stores announced recently that it would become the first major grocery store chain in the country to allow customers to bring their own reusable containers for packaging. The policy only applies in the province of Quebec and it took effect on April 22. Even though other grocers are likely to make similar announcements soon, this is a benchmark policy that clearly sets a precedent. A good decision from the Quebec-based grocer, but such an approach does come with its share of risks.

Quebec’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries gave its blessing and allowed this to occur. Before, retailers were solely responsible for the safety of the food served or sold in stores and refused to fill containers they did not own, so the onus was solely on them. Now, responsibilities are shared by both parties, Metro and customers alike. However, containers must be plain and neutral, free of bar codes and logos. Containers must be thoroughly clean and not damaged in any way. Glass containers are prohibited due to handling risks. Clerks at the grocery store will have to ensure there’s no risk of contamination, and verify all........

© The London Free Press