NZ Sugar CEO Bernard Duignan said the lead contamination was detected after routine testing (file photo).
NZ Sugar (Chelsea Sugar) has announced a recall of soft brown and raw sugar products sold during October and up to November 4, because of low-level lead contamination.
The company says it decided to conduct the precautionary recall following consultation with New Zealand Food Safety.
The following products are being recalled:
- Chelsea brand Raw Sugar (500g, 1.2kg and 4kg), and Soft Brown Sugar (500g and 1kg)
- Woolworths brand Raw Sugar (500g and 1kg) and Brown Sugar (500g and 1kg)
- Pams brand Raw Sugar (1kg) and Soft Brown Sugar (1kg)
The recall does not affect any other Chelsea products.
NZ Sugar CEO Bernard Duignan said the lead contamination was detected after routine testing.
“As soon as we identified a potential problem, we contacted New Zealand Food Safety for its assistance to assess test results.
“Through our investigation the contamination appears to have occurred in the supply chain en route to New Zealand through a single bulk ship delivery that had previously been used for transporting other materials.
“We are asking consumers who have purchased these products not to consume them,” he said.
New Zealand Food Safety said the immediate food safety risk from the products was low.
MPI Deputy Director-General Vincent Arbuckle said the risk assessment was based on the levels of lead detected in the raw sugar and the potential exposure for consumers.
“The immediate food safety risk is considered to be low as the amount consumed will not cause illness,” he said.
“In addition, at the levels of lead detected someone would have to consume the contaminated product over a long period of time for it to be a concern.”
MPI urged people not to use the affected product.
“While we consider the risk to be low, we understand people might be worried and as always we suggest that anyone with concerns for their health consult their doctor for advice,” Arbuckle said.
The products can be returned to where they were purchased for a full refund.
Duignan said NZ Sugar apologised to customers and consumers for any inconvenience caused by the recall.
Those with questions were invited to contact Chelsea Sugar on 0800 800 617.