South Africa’s Tiger Brands Recalls 20 Million Products Due to Leaks

South Africa’s Tiger Brands has recalled 20 million cans of its KOO and Hugo’s vegetable products after 18 leaking food cans were detected in a May 2021 batch.

The leak turned out to be worse than initially thought after the food producer was notified by the packaging supplier that a further three batches of cans have the same defect.

The company, in a statement on Monday, said the recall encompasses more than two dozen variants and includes products that were produced from May 1, 2019 to May 5, 2021.

The recall comes after consultations with the National Consumer Council (NCC) and is expected to cost the processed food firm more than half a billion rand (about $33,756,780).

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Tiger Brands first discovered the defective products in May 2021, before they were released to the public. They were attributed to defective side seam welds that could leak.

Upon performing a “transport and handling test”, the firm found that two out of 287,040 cans inspected revealed leaks, potentially affecting a wider range of products already on the market.

The financial impact of the recall will be steep for Tiger Brands, which already lost about R150-million worth of stock to looting and vandalism during the recent protests in the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng regions.

“The financial impact of the recall, including the cost of the potentially affected stock that may be written off, transport and storage costs, as well as the loss of margin on the returned stock, is estimated at between R500-million and R650-million,” the firm said.

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Tiger Brands encourages customers to return the canned products to their nearest supermarket or wholesale outlet, for a refund.

“No health issues have been reported to date relating to the affected product range. Despite the low probability of illness and injury, matters of quality and food safety are an absolute priority for Tiger Brands,” the company said.

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