Home South African NCC urges testing of all products containing peanuts

NCC urges testing of all products containing peanuts

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The National Consumer Commission has called on all manufacturers of peanut butter, peanut butter-based products and products containing peanuts to immediately have these tested, following the recent recall of several products from shelves showing high levels of aflatoxin.

Consuming products with higher than acceptable levels of aflatoxin could lead to health complications such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, among others. File picture: Pexels

THE NATIONAL Consumer Commission (NCC) has called on all manufacturers of peanut butter, peanut butter-based products and products containing peanuts to immediately have these tested, following the recall of several products from shelves showing high levels of aflatoxin.

The testing was to ensure the products contained acceptable levels of aflatoxin, as per the regulations of the Foodstuff, Cosmetics, and Disinfectants Act.

Products included in the scope of testing were not limited to chocolates, sweets, cookies, ice cream and peanut butter spreads, the NCC said.

NCC spokesperson Phetho Ntaba, said: “A manufacturer, a producer or the supplier or retailer of peanut butter-based products and products containing nuts must go and test their products and give us their results of their aflatoxin level within 14 days.”

Consuming products with higher than acceptable levels of aflatoxin could lead to health complications such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, among others.

Last week, the NCC sent an e-mail to a number of suppliers, however, this was largely focused on manufacturers of peanut butter.

Since Woolworths recently recalled its peanut butter-based ice cream due to high levels of aflatoxin, the NCC extended the scope to include other products containing peanuts.

“We are not saying there’s something wrong but we’re saying, by the looks of it, there might be a problem.

“We want suppliers to say ‘we are confident’, not only on media or social media but ‘here is our proof that our products are safe for consumption’.

“Then you can say to South Africans, based on our assessment, we have received from X number of suppliers, four of five failed and this is what we’re doing about it. We just want to bring that confidence to peanut butter lovers.”

Ntaba said this did not mean that all products would have to be removed from shelves.

“We are saying to them, while you are testing and you discover that there is an issue, immediately remove the affected products then inform us.”

Acting National Consumer Commissioner Thezi Mabuza expressed concern over the high rate of recalls.

On February 9, the NCC urged consumers to stop consuming and return to stores for a full refund, with or without proof of purchase, the following products: Dischem’s Lifestyle 400 and 800 grams Smooth and Crunchy peanut butter; Wazoogles Superfoods peanut butter all sizes; Pick n Pay’s No Name 1kg smooth and Eden All Natural.

Woolworths said that as a precautionary measure, it had assessed all secondary products that contained peanut butter, such as biscuits, sauces, pretzels, energy bars and ice cream.

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