Why there’s a major peanut butter recall in South Africa

 ·12 Feb 2024

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has urged consumers in possession of various peanut butter brands manufactured by House of Natural Butters to return them to the point of purchase.

Acting Commissioner Thezi Mabuza said the manufacturer informed the Commission that the products from Pick n Pay’s No Name brand, Eden All Natural brand, Wazoogles Superfoods and Dischem’s Lifestyle brand were found to have higher than legally acceptable levels of Aflatoxin, as set out under R1145 Regulation Governing Tolerance of Fungus-Produced Toxins in Foodstuffs.

According to the Cancer Institute, Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops, including staples. Exposure to aflatoxins is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer, the group said.

The recalled products are:

  • Dischem’s Lifestyle 400 grams Smooth and Crunchy;
  • Dischem’s Lifestyle 800 grams Smooth and Crunchy;
  • Wazoogles Superfoods (all sizes starting from 32g to 20kg);
  • Pick n’ Pay’s No Name 1kg Smooth; and
  • Eden All Natural.

“Pick n Pay, Eden All Natural, and Dischem’s Lifestyle brands were distributed nationally, while Wazoogles Superfoods products were distributed mainly in the Western Cape,” Mabuza said.

Mabuza urged consumers in possession of these products to immediately stop consuming them and return them to the point of purchase for a full refund “with or without proof of purchase”.

While the Commission is investigating the affairs of the manufacturer, House of Natural Butters (Pty) Ltd, Mabuza said the NCC will also conduct a nationwide assessment to establish whether other brands are affected.

“The Commission urges the manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of peanut butter to comply with regulations and conduct urgent tests to assess the safety of the products on their shelves and take immediate corrective steps, if found to be unsafe,” Mabuza said.

The Commissioner reiterated that the Consumer Protection Act requires that goods that pose any risk of harm to the consumer be recalled, and “it is the responsibility of the manufacturers, importers, and retailers to ensure that goods comply with all applicable laws and standards of the Republic”.

“Aflatoxin may lead to health complications not limited to nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. We, therefore, urge South African consumers, who have the recalled products, to immediately stop consuming these products and return the products to the point of purchase for a full refund, with or without proof of purchase,” Mabuza said.

Read: Bad to worse for South Africans earning more than R20,000 per month

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