1) The same batch or serial numbers. Often found on fake currency. I have never encountered it yet on food items and other consumer goods. To save on cost, the manufacturer may have printed the same serial number on every label. Two products bought at the same time that have the same batch number is normal, doubtful if acquired at different time frame. This fault is rather hard to detect.
2) Unbelievably low pricing. Price drop for apparels, toys and gadgets is normal. A very steep cost at product launch, then 50% off after few months. Such is not applicable to food items. When sardines are for sale, 30 to 50% off. Have a doubt, it’s a fake or expired already.
Exception: Due to market competition, hamburgers and siopao are often sold buy-one, take-one.
3) Low quality packaging. Due to budget constraint, fake food producers often resort to cheaper packaging and print services resulting to inferior overall look. Examine the label carefully!
4) Drastic change in flavor and performance. Sometimes, the counterfeit is almost identical to original but have totally different contents. The next soy sauce buy might not be salty, the juice is not sweet, flour never forms a dough and yeast cannot rise bread.
If a fake food product is encountered, save it and file a complaint in nearest Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, office. More often than not, fake goods are hazardous to human health.