NZ Sugar error causes recalled products to return to Countdown shelves again

NZ Sugar apologised to Countdown and consumers.
NZ Sugar apologised to Countdown and consumers. Photo credit: Getty Images.

A recalled batch of raw and soft brown sugar made its way back on Countdown shelves in the North Island in recent weeks due to an error.

Products from three brands were initially recalled early last month due to low level lead contamination.

Then in late November, Woolworths New Zealand, which owns the Countdown supermarket chain, reissued the recall notice after two of the affected brands' products were mistakenly dispatched from one of the distribution centres.

In a separate incident, NZ Sugar said a data entry error meant some batches of Woolworths' (Countdown) 500g and 1kg Raw Sugar products had not been included in all recall notices.

"This error has meant that not all batches were included in the Woolworths instore signage or in the customer communications about this recall," NZ Sugar said in a statement this evening.

They were removed from Countdown shelves at the time of the recall, however, a "small amount" of the product was put back in stores in recent weeks due to the error, NZ Sugar said.

It has now updated the recall information, it said.

New Zealand Food Safety has advised the sugar does not pose an immediate health risk, and food already prepared with the sugar is safe to consume.

Consumers who have purchased the affected products are asked to return them to store for a refund.

NZ Sugar apologised to Countdown and consumers for the inconvenience and said it was implementing measures to ensure these errors did not happen again.

Foodstuffs, New Zealand's other major supermarket company, also mistakenly put the contaminated sugar on sale after the recall.