The Malawi standards agency has recalled Zest Cola, a popular drink in the country due to critical non-compliance with food safety parameters.

The Malawi Bureau of Standards says the drink, batch number B00893 has failed to meet the standard MS 18:2010 governing carbonated soft drinks specification guidelines.

The agency says during the recent routine regulatory conformity assessment activities, they collected samples of the product in question for laboratory tests in accordance and the results revealed critical non-compliance to the minimum requirements of the food safety parameters.

“Based on the laboratory tests that the MBS conducted, the product was deemed defective and dangerous for use, and in the interest of public health safety, and in line with provisions of the Malawi Bureau of Standards Act (Cap 51:02), Sections 39 (1) and 41, the MBS hereby bans and rejects presence of Zest soft drink-cola with batch number B00893 in all market streams across the country with immediate effect,” said the agency.

The MBS has since issued a recall order to the manufacturer-Snowman Company, which is based in Lilongwe stopping them from making and distributing the product until all registered shortfalls on food safety parameters are addressed as stipulated in the relevant Malawi Standards.

“The MBS is, therefore, advising the general public to refrain from buying or consuming the product,” it said.

“The MBS would like to reiterate and assure the general public that we are currently continuing with the market surveillances and taking appropriate actions on any defective batch observed on the market.”

Comesa Competition Commission wants members of the public to confirm if the said product is sold in their country to enable them issue a cautionary note.

“We request you to check in your shops and supermarkets in your countries to confirm if the said product batch number is being sold to allow the Commission urgently warn consumers,” said the Commission.