The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) has banned the Ceres juice for containing high levels of patulin substance which is reportedly poisonous and could lead to serious conditions if ingested in large quantities.
Ceres juice is sold across Kenya, DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Mauritius among other countries.
Consumption of high levels of poisonous patulin may cause nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances and vomiting.
The agency has warned retailers to offload the juices from their shelves with immediate effect.
The statement was signed by the agency registrar Meti Demissie Disasa (CCC).
‘Hi, please note that the withdrawal of the Ceres product applies only to a single batch of Ceres 100% apple juice, with date codes PD 21.06.2021/ BB 21.06.2022. Also to confirm that all stock in Kenya has been isolated by our local distributor. Thanks’, Pioneer Foods tweeted Cofek on Wednesday.
But key questions remain for the South African firm with a local distributor.
The company did not provide details on how many packets were affected. They also remained mute on how many of such packets they had recalled.
Pioneer Foods equally didn’t state how many of such packets were sold and the recourse for those already consumed.
It is not clear why Pioneer Foods is yet to apologize to consumers and its’ readiness to negotiate compensation as per law.