Popular Apple Juice Recalled From Kenyan Supermarkets

The juice was recalled from six COMESA markets, including Kenya after laboratory tests were carried out with the supplier of the juice also engaged.

Popular Apple Juice Recalled From Kenyan Supermarkets

Ceres Apple juice which was produced between June 14-30, 2021 has been recalled by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Competition Commission.

The juice was recalled from six COMESA markets, including Kenya after laboratory tests were carried out with the supplier of the juice also engaged.

The commission noted in a statement that the juice was found 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).

A box of Ceres Apple juice. /FILE

"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.

"If the above products were already purchased, consumers are advised to return the products where they were purchased for a refund or replacement," said the regional trading bloc’s competition watchdog in a statement. 

The South African firm said separately that its investigation had confirmed that "a limited quantity of apple juice concentrate supplied to them contained elevated levels of patulin, a mould toxin mainly found in rotting apples."

"The recall is based on the presence of patulin in a concentration of more than 50 parts per billion (ppb), which is the regulatory threshold," the company said.

Woolworths supermarkets in Namibia and South Africa had pulled the products from the supermarkets as well. Other countries included DRC, Uganda, Mauritius and Zambia.

"Food safety is critically important to Woolworths and we take all issues regarding the production of our food extremely seriously. Following routine quality tests, Woolworths is recalling Woolworths branded 100% Apple Juice 200ml cartons," reads the statement.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) by the time of publication is yet to issue a statement on the matter.

Patulin, which is classified as a mycotoxin, is a naturally occurring toxin created by certain moulds that can be found in apples and apple products.

The risk of consuming patulin exceeding 50μg/l may lead to vomiting, nausea and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) offices. /FILE