Amazon.com’s sprawling marketplace might be bulging with millions of third-party sellers. But they are causing a rising number of consumer complaints relating to shipping and sale of counterfeits, unsafe products, and expired products.

According to the CNBC report, the grocery section dominates with a big dose of complaints on problematic items, especially on expired foods.

Amazon that rejoices consumers with Amazon prime may find the reports embarrassing.

The outdated products were in categories of baby formula, coffee creamer, beef jerky, Doritos, granola bars with complaints saying items had been spoiled and sell-by date exceeded by years and months.

An irate customer seeks a refund

Among the brands that faced complaints of expired foods included Hostess brownies and Teavana goods discontinued in 2017.

Andrea Wilson brought the matter to the public domain with a Twitter post to press for the refund of expired Hostess brownies that were more than a year old. She even consumed one unknowingly.

Some complaints were explicit and clearly said there was “rancid smell” from old Goldfish crackers and coffee creamers.

Nearly 40 percent of sellers had at least five complaints about expired food, per data firm, 3 PM.

The CNBC report said interviews with brands, consumers, third-party sellers, and consultants have exposed loopholes in Amazon’s technology and logistics that overlooked the influx of expired items. It exposed the online retailer’s lack of control and accountability.

Amazon says it has a clear policy on the matter

However, an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that products sold on the site including those not for resale are required to comply with laws and Amazon policies.

Third-party sellers must provide Amazon an expiration date if they are selling an item meant for consumption and have to guarantee that the item has a remaining shelf life of 90 days, per Amazon news.

But food-safety experts said the flaws suggest Amazon’s policy is not strictly followed.

Going by the soaring complaints it is believed that closeout sales and liquidation warehouses were basic sources of expired food entering Amazon channels.

In 2017, Starbucks shuttered its Teavana locations. But sellers purchased discounted tea-related merchandise and resold it on Amazon. Teavana products such as rock sugar and fruit teas continued to be listed on Amazon even though they were discontinued in 2017.  Amazon Logo Amazon has definitely placed some bets on Tesla's competitor this time. Pictured: A picture taken on February 5, 2019 shows the Amazon logo displayed on a tablet in Paris. Photo: Getty Images/Lionel Bonaventure

Amazon new grocery chain to launch this year

Meanwhile, Amazon is moving ahead with its plans for an exclusive new grocery chain, per The Wall Street Journal. Amazon has leased more than a dozen spaces in the Los Angeles area mainly in suburban areas with a heavy concentration of middle-income households.

The new stores will target demographics different from Whole Foods and offer prepared foods and mainstream groceries.

Amazon's grocery chain might open before the end of the year and complement the operations of Whole Foods as well as Amazon's online marketplace.