Peanut butter saga: Pick n Pay explains what really happened

Pick n Pay has given IOL News more details on the peanut butter issue in South Africa and why the company decided to recall its product from stores.

During in-house testing, the company picked up that one supplier’s aflatoxin levels were found to be higher than regulated levels, it said.

Aflatoxins are moulds produced by the fungus aspergillus flavus that can be found growing on peanuts, maize and other grains.

“We immediately informed the supplier, the National Consumer Commission (NCC) and the National Department of Health, Directorate of Food Control, removed the affected products from our shelf and notified our customers,” Pick n Pay told IOL News.

The peanut butter brands that have been recalled are produced by one supplier – House of Natural Butters.
Pick n Pay had stocked one of their brands, Eden All Natural, and they produced the retailer’s No Name 1kg Smooth peanut butter brand.

These products were removed from the shelves around two weeks ago, and according to Pick n Pay, the supplier has been delisted from Pick n Pay.

“The safety of our customers is our highest priority. For all food products, suppliers undergo regular independent audits to meet required food safety standards.

As required, we will also conduct our own testing on products as an added assurance. It was during one of our tests that we found higher than regulated levels of aflatoxin in the Eden All Natural and No Name peanut butter,” it said.

Last week, Pick n Pay recalled three brands of peanut butter from its stores around the country with immediate effect for health and safety reasons.

It pulled No Name Smooth Peanut Butter, Eden Smooth Peanut Butter and Eden Crunch Peanut Butter from its shelves.

The PnP Peanut Butter brand that is made by RCL Foods was not impacted, and, therefore, not removed from their shelves.

On 9 February, the NCC communicated recalling more brands from the same supplier.
The company said they will continue to engage with customers to assist during the recall. – IOL News

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