Meisie Katz, General Manager for Food Industries in NRCS

The National Regulators for Compulsory Specifications, (NRCS) urged South Africans including all formal wholesalers, Retailers, and informal traders to refrain from selling and consuming 400g Pilchards in Chili Sauce and 400g Pilchards in Tomato Sauce.

Meisie Katz, General Manager for Food Industries in NRCS said this comes after the investigation conducted confirmed that there was a deficiency in the process of canning where many cans were allegedly compromised during the sauce filling process, which could affect the health of consumers.

The NRCS made this announcement at a press briefing held at the Court Classique Suite Hotel, Arcadia in Pretoria today.

Ms Katz said the Implicated products were produced in 2019 by West Point Processors in Cape Town and were distributed nationwide to different markets.

“The NRCS calls on consumers to return the products back to the place of purchase for a refund. The affected specified product brands include; Deep Catch, Mammas, OK House brands, EEP Catch, Prime Ocean, Spar, Sunny, Shoprite, Cape Point, Checkers House brands, U Brand, Saldanha and West Point,” she said.

Ms Katz said the problem was caused by months of storage which caused the tinned content to spoil with metal, as a result, the NRCS is exhausting all efforts to remove the affected products out of the market to ensure the safety of consumers.

“The recall is a precautionary measure put in place and there are no fatalities reported yet or food poisoning that has been reported.

“But because we have picked up this canning deficiency, the manufacturer and the regulator have taken steps to ensure that we put controls in place to ensure that there are no fatalities or food poisoning.

“The biggest issue that we are currently handling is informal markets because all the formal markets have been handled and they are returning the products with the help of the Department of Health.

“With regards to deadlines to return the products, all products produced in 2019 should be returned to where they were bought immediately. It should be stated that not all fish and fishery products on the shelves are affected, we are only recalling the specified products,’’ she said.

Upon asking an informal trader in Shoshnguve, Mr Elvis Manganyi, if he knew about the recalling, he said he was not aware of the danger of canned fish and canned fishery products.

He also added that he was never approached by any inspector for investigation relating to the canned fish issues.