NCC urges testing of all products containing peanuts

Peanut butter aflatoxin scare moves beyond voluntary recalls….

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 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.

The Acting National Consumer Commissioner, Thezi Mabuza says the Commission is concerned by this high rate of recalls. “To understand this challenge better, the Commission has issued a notice in terms of Section 60 (2) (a) of the CPA to manufacturers and suppliers of peanut butter.

“The Notice requires suppliers to immediately conduct an urgent investigation, test their products for aflatoxin, and present their results to the Commission within 14 days of receiving the Notice.”

Suppliers are also required to submit their Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Certificates.

In addition to this, the NCC extends the same call to other suppliers of products with peanuts, to also investigate and submit their results to the NCC. Suppliers/ manufacturers must submit the results via email to [email protected].

“While investigating their products, manufacturers, importers, and retailers are urged to take immediate corrective measures where their products are found to be unsafe. These include removing the products from the shelves following the NCC’s product recall protocols, informing relevant regulators in the space, as well as notifying consumers,” said Mabuza