* CVS said to sell outdated drugs, eggs, formula, milk
* Blumenthal says CVS was on notice of problems
* CVS previously settled with NY Attorney General Cuomo
* Shares of CVS fall (Adds interview with Connecticut attorney general)
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, Nov 30 Connecticut's attorney general has sued CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N), accusing the drugstore chain of selling food, beverages and over-the-counter medications past their expiration dates.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said CVS sold expired items including antacids, baby formula, cough medicine, energy drinks and foods including eggs, milk and yogurt in 20 of 45 stores in the state that his office spot-checked this summer.
He said 10 of the 20 were also caught in a year-earlier spot check.
"The company has certainly been on notice about these stores," Blumenthal said in an interview. "They are well aware of problems related to expiration dates."
Connecticut filed its lawsuit in state superior court in Hartford. It seeks fines of up to $5,000 per violation, a sum Blumenthal said may be "significant," and a halt to the sale of expired products.
Earlier this month, CVS agreed to pay $875,000 to settle similar charges by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, while rival Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) last December agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle with Cuomo.
CVS spokeswoman Joanne Dwyer said the Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based company became aware of Blumenthal's specific allegations on Monday.
She said CVS is committed to stopping the sale of expired products and to remove such products from stores. "The health and safety of our customers is our top priority," Dwyer said.
In the New York accord, CVS agreed to adopt procedures to prevent the sale of expired products, and post in-store notices reminding customers to check expiration dates. The company said the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing.
Blumenthal said Connecticut's probe into sales of expired products, "potentially involving other chains," will continue.
"Whether CVS was careless or heedless or overzealous for revenue, it betrayed its trust to consumers," he said.
Shares of CVS closed down 19 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $31.01 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The case is Connecticut v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., Connecticut Superior Court, Judicial District of Hartford. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tim Dobbyn, Gerald E. McCormick, Leslie Gevirtz) ((firstname.lastname@example.org +1 646 223 6317; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))