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Contaminated Ceres apple juice recalled from Zimbabwe shop shelves

by Staff reporter
16 Oct 2021 at 06:32hrs | Views
Pioneer Foods is recalling certain apple juice products sold under its Ceres brand in a number of countries within the COMESA Free Trade Area including Zimbabwe, the DRC, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Malawi and Zambia.

The apple juice products have been found to contain elevated levels of patulin, a potent fungal toxin that occurs in damaged and rotten fruits and fruit juice made from poor quality fruits.

Pioneer Foods CEO Tertius Carstens said on Friday: "The health and wellbeing of our consumers is of absolute importance to us, and hence when we identified the potential of a food safety issue, following in-house standard testing and engagement with one of our local suppliers, we immediately launched an internal investigation into all our 100% apple juice products.

"The investigation to date has confirmed that a limited quantity of apple juice concentrate supplied to us contained elevated levels of patulin. Based on these results, the company took the decision to launch the recall."

He said the recall was based on the presence of patulin exceeding 50 parts per billion (microgram/kg), which is the regulatory threshold.

"We have taken the decision, as a precautionary measure and with the interests of our consumers at heart, to launch a recall of products produced from the apple juice concentrate batch in question. This recall only affects a limited number of apple juice products. All other Ceres products remain safe for consumption."

Pioneer Foods said it had engaged South African regulatory authorities, as well as various African regulatory bodies including COMESA and various country-specific regulators.

On Wednesday, October 13, the SA National Consumer Commission announced it is launching an investigation into the South African supplier of the apple juice concentrate.

Pioneer Foods said the affected products distributed within Kenya and Mauritius had all been isolated by the respective distributors in those countries and will not be released to retail stores.

The following Ceres 100% Apple Juice SKUs sold outside of South Africa are affected, with the relevant batch and production codes below.

Source - ZimLive