Friday, May 20, 2022

Ministry recalls several batches of peanut butter

The Thobo Orion brand of peanut butter has been recalled by the Ministry of Health after authorities found it to be contaminated with high levels of aflatoxins.

The MoH warned that the spread, which is made in Botswana, is unsafe for consumption.

In a communiqu├® released by the ministry the batches BL00035, BL01478, BL01219, BL01220 and BL01289 failed the test. The batches were made between March and July this year.

The recall was because the peanut butter contains aflatoxins in excess of the maximum levels laid down in the Botswana Maximum Levels of Aflatoxins in Food Regulations Statutory Instrument No 33 of 2011.

Aflatoxins are any class of toxic compounds that are produced by certain molds found in food and can cause liver damage and cancer.

The peanut butter, which is manufactured by Thobo Orion Products, is sold in plastic jars and in buckets of 3kg, 5kg and 20kg sizes and that the wording Thobo Orion is boldly written on the label.
Meanwhile, the authorised officers are inspecting schools and other outlets for the mentioned batches and institutions such as schools should also check their stocks for the batches of peanut butter.

The Ministry encouraged manufacturers, traders and procurement entities to countercheck the safety of food products they produce, procure, sell or distribute to the public as stated by the law.
Makolwane Maje, the director at Thobo Orion, confirmed that their product was found to be contaminated.

“The problem is not with the quality of the peanut butter per se, instead it’s the peanuts we used which contained the high levels of aflatoxins which are quite harmful in the long run,” said Maje.
He said they have managed to contain the situation as they have recalled the implicated product.
“We had only supplied the Tonota Council and Ghanzi Council but they had not distributed the product to schools,” said Maje. “We believe the situation is under control.”

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