Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) said yesterday the toxin-contaminated 'Ceres 100%' juice from South Africa may have been smuggled into Tanzania via neighbouring countries despite the government's tight regulatory controls.
The regulator said it has dispatched a team of investigators to border posts to establish how the specified batch of the juice produced on June 14-30, 2021 found its way into Tanzania.
Seven other countries have banned the beverage from their markets. The juice, produced by SA-based manufacturer Pioneer Foods, was found to have elevated levels of Patulin, a fruit-based mould which when consumed can cause nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, and vomiting, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
TBS' Quality Management director Lazaro Msasalaga told The Citizen that the authorities have formally blocked the juice from being imported into the country. He said that since October 13, TBS has been monitoring and carrying out inspections to establish possible importation of the juice.
"In our documents at TBS, no batch of the juice produced on those dates entered the country so far, but since Tanzania is bordered by countries where goods have already been imported, there is a possibility of smuggling," said Mr Msasalaga.
"We have strengthened inspections especially across borders across the country and if we find out [that the juice is in the country] we will follow up and legal action will be followed," he told The Citizen in Dar es Salaam.