By Faith Nyasuguta
The Apple juice manufactured by South African firm Ceres has been recalled from seven African nations following high levels of patulin that can trigger vomiting ,nausea and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Patulin is a mycotoxin produced by a variety of moulds found in apples and apple products.
Tests from laboratories also showed that Ceres juice contained levels higher than the required 50 microgrammes per litre.
The Ceres brand which is under beverage maker Pioneer Foods told the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission that the juice is sold in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Seychelles and Mauritius.
“In view of the foregoing… the Commission would like to inform the general public to exercise caution and avoid the purchase or consumption of the recalled products,” the regional trading bloc’s competition watchdog said via a statement on Wednesday.
Further, it called on consumers who bought batches packed between June 14 and 30, 2021 to “return the products where they were purchased for a refund or replacement.”
The repealed products are Ceres apple juice 200ml and Ceres apple 275ml sparkling glass often sold in DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The other products include the Ceres apple juice one-litre currently sold in Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Mauritius, and Zambia; and Ceres apple juice 200ml currently old in Seychelles.
Other cancelled products include the LiquiFruit Clear Apple 250ml carton, the LiquiFruit Clear Apple 330ml can and the LiquiFruit Clear Apple one-litre carton.
According to the World Health Organisation, patulin, which is classified under mycotoxins, is a naturally occurring toxin often created by certain moulds found in apples and apple products.
The Pioneer Foods product recall comes days after Coca-Cola South Africa also recalled certain batches of Appletiser, allegedly following high patulin levels.