Following routine quality tests, the retailer said it was identified that the apple juice in these products contains levels of patulin above the regulatory limits. Patulin is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by mould and is commonly associated with apples.
The affected Woolworths 100% Apple Juice 200ml cartons are sold as singles and in six packs in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zambia stores.
"Woolworths and our suppliers proactively manage and prevent microbial contamination of food and have done so for many years. We have very strict protocols in place as part of our standard food safety management process. To verify the safety of our food products, we implement additional monitoring where we independently have our food products tested randomly," the retailer said.
Food safety is critically important to Woolworths and we take all issues regarding the production of our food extremely seriously.— Woolworths SA (@WOOLWORTHS_SA) October 9, 2021
Following routine quality tests, Woolworths is recalling Woolworths branded 100% Apple Juice 200ml cartons. pic.twitter.com/be1QV59x0M
Last week, Pioneer Foods recalled certain 100% apple juice products, sold under its LiquiFruit brand in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, and the Ceres brand in other jurisdictions. This followed an internal investigation that revealed that a limited quantity of apple juice concentrate supplied to Pioneer Foods contained elevated levels of patulin.
The week prior, Coca-Cola South Africa announced the voluntary recall of certain batches of sparkling apple juice Appletiser after a standard quality testing routine revealed they were "outside of the acceptable standards".
Customers who have purchased the Woolworths product should return it to their local store for a full refund, and can contact the Woolworths customer service centre on 0860 022 002 or visit woolworths.co.za for more information.