In a situation now being referred to as “labelgate,” employees at a Shanghai Hema grocery store (officially branded as “Freshippo” in English) were caught switching out the expiration dates on packages of carrots in order to make them seem up to five days fresher.

On Wednesday morning, Hema CEO Hou Yi announced on Weibo that the chain’s Shanghai manager had been fired over the not-so-smart retail fiasco. In addition, Hema will carry out inspections of all Shanghai stores.

According to Tencent News, the incident was first reported by a concerned Shanghai resident on November 15. While browsing the store, the shopper couldn’t help but notice a worker changing the labels on packages of carrots. A follow-up investigation by the Jing’an District Market Supervision Bureau revealed that the unsavory switch-up may have affected up to 180 units, 107 of which had already been sold. The store was ordered to take all suspect, self-labeled items off the shelves.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.