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Clover recalls some peanut butter products, NCC investigates

11th March 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Following numerous tests that revealed higher than acceptable levels of aflatoxin, food and beverage company Clover has recalled 10 776 units of its Go Nuts Peanut Butter 400 g.

The recall by Clover comes after the National Consumer Commission (NCC) received recalls for certain peanut butter products, manufactured and sold by various companies, last month as the products failed to meet the acceptable levels of aflatoxin.

Following these recalls, the NCC called on all producers, manufacturers and suppliers of peanut butter, peanut butter-based products and products containing peanuts, to immediately test their products for aflatoxin levels and submit their results to the NCC.

Following the initial recall of peanut butter products announced by various manufacturers during the first week of February 2024, Clover elected to further assess its Go Nuts Peanut Butter product.

This was done as a precautionary measure to ensure its product meets quality standards.

“Although tests conducted by our manufacturer showed that our product complied with legislation, further independent testing confirmed that the levels of aflatoxin in limited batches of our Go Nuts Peanut Butter 400 g product were indeed higher than accepted levels.

“Once these test results were received, we took immediate steps to recall the affected products and notify the authorities, retailers and consumers of the recall,” says Clover legal, secretarial and human resources executive Steven Velthuysen.

Acting NCC commissioner Thezi Mabuza says the call to suppliers, manufacturers and distributors of these products to immediately test their products for levels of aflatoxin has been an “eye-opener.”

“From the test results that were received by the commission [from various manufacturers], there is an indication that suppliers were not compliant with their protocols and regulations. We are expecting suppliers, to be specific, the retailers, to immediately recall those brands that are noncompliant.

“This is to ensure we protect South African consumers from any further harm. The commission will take a decisive decision to get to the bottom of the challenge. We hope that suppliers will cooperate with the commission.

Further, Mabuza states that Section 60 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) read with the NCC’s Product Recall Guidelines requires that, upon discovering that safety has been compromised, that a retailer or supplier must recall the affected product immediately and inform the regulators.

"Upon receiving the notification from Clover, the commission assessed the recall and established some inconsistencies with the CPA,” Mabuza says.

The NCC says it will investigate Clover for alleged contraventions of the CPA.

“The NCC has informed us of its investigation in relation to this matter and we are cooperating fully with the NCC to provide it with the required information to inform its inquiry,” says Velthuysen.

Clover notes in a media statement that all affected batches of the product have already been removed from all stores countrywide, assuring that other batches of the Go Nuts Peanut Butter product in stores are not affected by this recall and are 100% safe for consumption.

Meanwhile, consumers who are in possession of Clover Go Nuts Peanut Butter 400 g with the best before dates of June 12, 18 and 19, 2025, as well as July 19, 2025, are urged to stop consuming the product and return it to the point of purchase for a full refund.

“Consumer health and safety is Clover’s priority, and we take our responsibility to provide products that are safe for consumption seriously,” adds Velthuysen.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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