THE Health Ministry this week ordered local retailers to remove KitKat chocolates from their shelves after the manufacturers announced that some of its batches were found to be containing glass particles.
The manufacturer, Nestlé South Africa, earlier said it was recalling three batches of the chocolates after they were found to be containing glass particles.
In a statement this week, the director general of health services in the Health ministry, Nyane Letsie, said Nestlé South Africa discovered that some of the batches were exported to Lesotho.
A visit to several retailers in Maseru yesterday revealed that the chocolates had already been removed from the shelves. Shoprite, Browns and Weirs Cash and Carry, Sefalana Trading Lesotho and Maseru Cash and Carry are some of the shops that had removed the chocolates from their shelves by yesterday afternoon.
Thato Mokhekhe, an assistant at Browns and Weirs Cash and Carry in Maseru said they removed the chocolates from their shelves earlier in the week and sent them back to South Africa.
“We removed the chocolates and sent them back to the manufacturer at the beginning of the week,” Mr Mokhekhe said.
Dr Letsie said the ministry was ordering the removal of the products after being alerted of the recall in South Africa.
“The ministry has been informed of a recall in South Africa of Nestle KitKat chocolate bars due to the potential presence of glass pieces. South African authorities confirmed that the specific products affected by this recall had been distributed in Lesotho.
“Port health officers are instructed to ensure that no such products are imported into Lesotho. Business operations who deal in these products are ordered to forthwith stop selling them.
“The public is advised to return all affected products in their possession to the shops from which they were purchased for a refund,” reads the statement.
On its website, Nestlé South Africa said: “If you have a concern that you or one of your family might have consumed one of the affected products, please consult a medical professional who will be able to provide you with the best advice and guidance”.
The company said it was investigating how the glass particles could have found their way into the chocolates.
Last year, the Health ministry ordered environmental health officers to remove all KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetable products from the shelves and guide their safe disposal. This after the manufacturer, South African Tiger Brands company, recalled the KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetables due to a deficient “side weld seam” that had the potential to cause leakage of some of the cans.
The Health ministry’s food safety programmes manager, Motsamai Mahahabisa, said his department started overseeing the removal of the products from shelves on Tuesday although some retailers had started on Monday.
He also encouraged customers who may have already consumed the chocolates to immediately seek medical attention.
“Those who have consumed the chocolates must immediately seek medical attention so that it is investigated whether or not they have glass particles in their bodies.
“Should the glass particles be found in their bodies, the proof should be submitted to the ministry and will be taken to the suppliers for compensation,” Mr Mahahabisa said.