Tiger Brands, South Africa's biggest food manufacturer, announced on Monday that it is immediately recalling about 20 million KOO and Hugo's canned vegetable products over safety concerns due to potentially defective cans.

This amounts to a recall of 9% of annual production and the final impact is estimated to amount to up to R650 million. Tiger Brand's share price initially dropped 6.40% after the announcement on Monday morning.

The issue with the cans, which is a deficient side seam weld that could cause the cans to leak, was initially discovered in May this year with 18 cans at one of Tiger Brand's facilities. The cans came from a supplier. While that batch and several others weren't released for trade, a probe determined that some cans from a defective batch did.

It did a test and out of 287,040 cans inspected after a transport and handling test, a side seam leak had developed in two cans. This prompted the recall.

"A leak in a can presents a risk of secondary microbial contamination after the canned products are dispatched into the marketplace. Where such contamination occurs, it will present a low probability of illness and injury if the contaminated product is consumed," Tiger Brands said in an announcement.

"Tiger Brands considers it appropriate that it institutes an immediate recall of all products that could potentially be affected. This involves the withdrawal of specific canned vegetable products manufactured under the KOO and Hugo’s brands between 1 May 2019 and 5 May 2021(both dates inclusive), amounting to approximately 20 million cans, which is [approximately] 9% of annual production.

"The financial impact of the recall, including the cost of the potentially affected stock that may be written off, transport and storage costs, as well as the loss of margin on the returned stock, is estimated at between R500 million and R650 million."

KOO canned fruit and KOO canned pilchards are not affected. Affected canned vegetable products can be returned to any supermarket or wholesale outlet for a refund.

To find a full list of all the affected products, click here.

Tiger Brands said it has product recall insurance. "

Tiger Brands - Certain Canned Vegetables Recalled Due to Defective Cans
Tiger Brands is recalling certain KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetable products produced from 1 May 2019 to 5 May 2021 due to an extremely small number of defective cans supplied by a packaging supplier.

The cans may have a defective side seam weld that could cause the can to leak. The company identified the issue as part of its internal quality assurance processes.

1. Which products are being recalled?

Canned products forming part of this recall include products from the KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetable range, including baked beans, that were produced from 1 May 2019 to 5 May 2021

Product DescriptionWeightBarcode
KOO Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce410g6009522300586
KOO Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce-Lite410g6009522306571
Hugo’s Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce410g6009522305536
KOO Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 4 pack **NEW**4 x 410g6009522307653
KOO Butter Beans in Brine410g6001024023543
KOO Butter Beans in Tangy Curry Sauce410g6001024000469
KOO Butter Beans in Tomato Sauce420g6001024024007
KOO Baked Beans in Chilli Sauce420g6001024035003
KOO Baked Beans in Tomato & Herb410g6009522303006
KOO Baked Beans in Curry Sauce410g6009522303020
KOO Baked Beans in Hot Chakalaka410g6009522303013
KOO Baked Beans in BBQ Flavoured Sauce410g6009522308117
KOO Baked Beans in Chilli Wors Flavoured Sauce410g6009522308124
KOO Creamstyle Sweetcorn415g6009522300562
KOO Whole Kernel in Brine410g6001024386655
KOO Mixed Vegetables in Sweet and Spicy Curry Sauce420g6009522300296
KOO Mixed Vegetables in Hot Curry Sauce420g6009522300289
KOO Mixed Vegetables in Curry Sauce420g6001024549913
KOO Mixed Vegetables in Cape Malay Curry Sauce420g6009522307639
KOO Mixed Vegetables in Durban Curry Sauce420g6009522307646
KOO Mixed Vegetables in Brine410g6001024103184
Helderberg Fresh Garden Peas in Sweetened Brine400g6009522308506
KOO Fresh Garden Peas in Brine410g6001024223318
KOO Fresh Garden Peas in Brine400g6009522308186
KOO Surfmaid Peas Petit Pois in Sweetened Brine400g6009522308193
KOO Short Spaghetti in Flavoured Tomato Sauce410g6001024383623

2. Does the side seam leakage present a consumer health risk?
No health issues have been reported to date relating to the affected product range. Although there is a low probability of illness and injury, matters of quality and food safety are an absolute priority for Tiger Brands. The company in consultation with the National Consumer Council (NCC) therefore made the decision to initiate a precautionary withdrawal in the best interest of consumers.

3. Where do I return these products to and will I be refunded?

If you have KOO or Hugo’s canned vegetable products at home that were produced from 1 May 2019 to 5 May 2021 and that form part of the recall, you can return the canned products to your nearest supermarket or wholesale outlet for a refund.

4. How do I know if the canned products I have at home are part of this withdrawal?
Canned vegetable products forming part of the recall can be identified by looking at the manufacturing date code stamped on the bottom or top of the can. The manufacturing date appears in the first line following the letters MAN. In the example below, the manufacturing date is 5 May 2021.

MAN 05/05/2021 08:58 4 K2 2H 9
BEST BEFORE 05/05/2024