South African food and beverage manufacturer Pioneer Foods has recalled its Ceres apple juice brands that sells in Ghana and other common markets in African 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).
Batches of the apple juice product are being recalled after elevated levels of patulin were detected, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in Ghana said in a statement on Friday (October 15, 2021).
The organic compound can occur in fruits such as apples due to fungal contamination before and after harvest.
The move comes after the International Food Safety Authorities Network informed the FDA of the recall of “Ceres 100% Apple Juice” products.
In Ghana, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has alerted the public about the recall of the product – Ceres 100% Apple Juice.
The Ghana FDA has listed the details of the affected batches in Ghana which are considered unwholesome for consumption.
A statement dated Friday, October 15, 2021, signed and issued by the DCE of Health Products and Technologies Division, Mr Seth K. Seaneke said the Ghana FDA in collaboration with Transmed Ghana Limited in Accra is drawing the attention of the public to the ongoing product recall of certain batches of Ceres 100% Apple Juice.
It said the move follows information received from the International Food Safety Network (INFOSAN) and the manufacturer of the product, Pioneer Foods Groceries (Pty) Limited, South Africa confirming that extensive laboratory tests and consultations with their local supplier of the apple juice concentrate, revealed that it contained levels of mycotoxin-patulin higher than the regulatory threshold.
“It is important to note that so far, most of the affected batches have been successfully retrieved and this includes all the 1 Litre pack sizes.”
“The FDA’s Market Surveillance team is therefore working earnestly with the importer to remove all the affected products in trade and is calling on persons in possession of the above products to return them to any of the depots of Transmed Ghana Limited, nationwide or to any FDA offices across the country.
The FDA assured the public that it will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public updated.