After “routine quality tests”, it was identified that these products contain higher levels of patulin. According to Woolworths, “Patulin is a naturally occurring mycotoxin commonly associated with apples”.
What is Mycotoxin?
According to research, “mycotoxin is usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonize crops”. One of the main concerns regarding patulin is that it has been reported to be carcinogenic. This means it has the potential to cause cancer. However, this is mostly proven to be the case in animals.
Further research shows that acute exposure to patulin can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, ulcers, etc. However, this is only a concern in the case where patulin consumption is extremely high.
A concerned Twitter user said that the company’s statement is very “poorly written”, as there is no real explanation of mycotoxin or its severity.
Woolworths encourages customer refunds and returns
As more and more concerned customers pop up on social media, Woolworths ensures customers that they will receive a full refund upon the return of the problematic product.
The recalled batch was sold as singles and in six-packs in stores in SA, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zambia.