Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ceres maker recalls apple juice over high toxin levels


South African food and beverage maker Pioneer Foods has recalled its Ceres apple juice brands sold in seven Comesa markets, including Zambia.

The recalled brands were found to contain high levels of patulin, a fruit-based mould toxin that causes nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission said Pioneer Food informed it that the affected juice brands were on sale in Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.

“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,” COMESA said in a statement on Wednesday.

Further, consumers have been advised to “return the products where they were purchased for a refund or replacement.”

The Ceres apple juice recall comes barely a week after Pioneer Foods recalled its LiquiFruit apple juice brands sold in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

The South African firm said 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,” said CEO Tertius Carstens.

The recalled products are Ceres apple juice 200ml and Ceres apple 275ml sparkling glass on sale in Zambia, DRC and Zimbabwe.

Others are Ceres apple juice one-litre selling in Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, DRC and Mauritius and Ceres apple juice 200ml being sold in Seychelles.

Other recalled products are LiquiFruit Clear Apple 250ml carton, the LiquiFruit Clear Apple 330ml can and the LiquiFruit Clear Apple one-litre carton.

The World Health Organisation states patulin, which is classified as a mycotoxin, is a naturally occurring toxin created by certain moulds found in apples and apple products.

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

The Pioneer Foods product recall comes a week after Coca-Cola South Africa also recalled certain batches of Appletiser, reportedly due to high patulin levels.


  1. It is worrying that these food drinks are being withdrawn when a good number of people have already consumed these chemicals.
    It it that profit making is the number one thing?
    What will they do to people that have already consumed these products, whose bad effects may show not now but years latter?

  2. When we can not support local production , we shall be used as a dumping ground for toxic drinks and products. Lets encourage local production we have mangoes which go to waste every year. It is a lesson to the Govt too. Lets create an environment which will support local companies to produce at low taxes.

  3. There’s a lapse in the production line. Such shouldn’t be noticed after the product is already on the market. How was the certification done without sampling the product? It shouldn’t end at the recall of products but the company must be sanctioned to set an example to others. I’ve seen artificially flavored drinks with sugar being advertised as pure fruit juices and authorities don’t do anything. It’s difficult for those with conditions to find genuine products because even some brands of honey are blended

  4. Food regulatory boards should be on high alert with produce coming from South Africa. Iwisa maize mill is clearly labelled that it contains GMO, I’m sure most of these products hitting our markets have other toxic chemicals which our authorities haven’t got the capacity to check. We should never rely on the goodwill of the producer when it come to food.

  5. Kukonda vamu Shoprite. Muzakafelamo cabe. Just make your own juice or advocate for local juices with sources you know. Monga kwa na Mainda kuja. It is safer. Don’t come running to me na ma cancer banu. A mambala.

  6. That is Sothern Africa for you …you let RSA flood its products in your countries but they will put so much red tape that you can not even sell Apple Juice there if you grew your own apples. How can Apple Juice concentrate have so much toxins in the first place? How was this even spotted ?

  7. Newbie – Ignore the UK based impostor it has nothing to do with time…its a shameless troll that thrives when there is division…it has no run out of material.

  8. And the commission without shame is saying “we were informed”. Shame on you. Where is Bureau of standards? How did this product end up in shelves without them noticing the dangerous error?

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site -

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading