Apple juice maker recalls juice sold in  7 African countries

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - 2017/08/20: Ceres fruit juice tetra packs on sale, four in a row, one is slightly crushed at the base. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

South African food and beverage manufacturer Pioneer Foods has recalled its Ceres apple juice brands that sold in seven Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) countries due to contamination of mould toxins.

The recalled brands were detected to have elevated levels of patulin, a fruit-based mould, which when consumed can cause nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, and vomiting, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Comesa Competition Commission on Wednesday said Pioneer Foods had informed it that the affected juice brands were imported and marketed in several countries including Kenya.

“The recall by Pioneer Foods follows laboratory tests and engagements with the local supplier of the apple juice concentrate used in the reconstitution of the concentrate into apple juice,” it said in a statement.

The juice is sold in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Seychelles and Mauritius.

Laboratory tests showed that Ceres juice packed between 14 and 30 June 2021 contained levels higher than the legally allowed 50 microgrammes per litre.