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Shoprite Lesotho removes tinned fish from shelves

Feb. 27, 2020 2 min read

MASERU - Hundreds of top selling tinned Pilchards products have been recalled from retail outlets’ shelves across the country. According to the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, all formal wholesalers, retailers and informal traders have ordered to remove and stop selling the products with immediate effect.

The products include Pilchards fish in tomato sauce and Pilchards in chilli sauce. Shoprite Maseru has already complied with the call removing the 400g Ritebrand and Cape Point tinned fish from their shelves.

One of the salespersons at the Maseru Mall shop, Napo Mokhoromeng, confirmed to Metro that the said brands were removed a few days ago after they received such instructions. 

Mokhoromeng was, however, quick to show that he was not in the light as to why the products were being recalled. This reporter was indeed taken to the shelves to confirm that the said products had been removed.  Mokhoromeng said they were yet to receive further instructions on the next step to take. 

He said some customers had already returned the Pilchards products they bought from their stores and received their refunds.  “We are not sure how much stock was removed from the shelves and the cost of that stock. All we know is that the instruction affected all the Shoprite shops in Lesotho,” he further showed.

The announcement, which dominated headlines this week in South Africa, was made following the outcome of the investigation which the organisation conducted that revealed a deficiency in the canning process.

The regulator said some of the cans were affected during the sauce filling step on the production line therefore could compromise the safety of consumers.

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"The problem manifests itself after months of storage which cause the content of the can to react with the metal of the can. The affected products were manufactured in 2019 by West Point Processors based in Cape Town and have been distributed nationally to various retailers across the country," the regulator said.

The products further bear the markings starting with - ZST29 and ZSC29 on top of the can for easy identification.

Below are the details of the product brands affected and the NRCS wishes to implore all consumers to return the products to any shop where they were purchased for a refund:

Deep Catch, Mammas, Prime Ocean, Spar, Sunny, Shoprite Ritebrand, Cape Point, Checkers Housebrand, U Brand, Saldanha, West Point.

"Food safety is a priority for NRCS and therefore the organisation is engaging all role players to ensure that the affected products are removed from the market to protect consumers against unsafe products in line with its mandate," the regulator said.

Furthermore, the manufacturer has already started the recall and the NRCS will continue to monitor the process with all the other wholesalers and retailers including the informal market to ensure that the process is handled efficiently.

The Mercury/Metro Reporters

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