Tesco recalls Blackcurrant and Apple squash - prompting panic

Parents panic as Tesco recalls own-brand squash: what happened?

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Blackcurrant and apple squash

Tesco has confirmed that it has recalled all bottles of its No Added Sugar Double Strength Apple & Blackcurrant Squash - in both the 1.5 litre and 750ml bottles - with a best before date of October 2015. It has also taken all remaining bottles of the squash of the shelves. Anyone with bottles at home has been urged to return them to their local Tesco, where they will receive a full refund. The news has prompted speculation and panic amongst parents.

Shoppers were advised early this morning on the company's Facebook page to stop using the squash immediately, and take it back to the shop. The item has also been withdrawn from sale online.

However, more than ten hours later, the squash still wasn't on the Tesco product recall page, and despite worried parents asking for more details on social media there was no response from the store. One wrote on the Tesco Facebook page: "Tesco please explain why this juice has been removed. You have worried parents (including me) wanting to know what our kids have been drinking. I've called customer service who told me it due to 'customer dissatisfaction' not a good enough answer."

The alarm was understandable, and in the absence of a substantial recall message, many parents were angry at the lack of communication.

Why?

For most of the day, official comments as to what is wrong with the squash were few and far between. This afternoon a spokesperson issued a statement that: "We're investigating with the supplier complaints about Tesco No Added Sugar Double Concentrate Apple and Blackcurrant 750ml and 1.5l. We have withdrawn the product from sale and any customers who are not satisfied with the product can return it to any store."

On Twitter, Tesco confirmed that "The Apple & Blackcurrant squash is currently being recalled due to a quality issue with one of the flavourings". And one Tweet at 3pm said there was "no health risk."

Finally, just after 7pm it issued another statement saying: "We have investigated with our supplier .... A flavour additive, which is not part of the ingredients for this product, has been added in error. The additive is called Dimethyl Disulphide and is a common ingredient in food products. It is an approved additive and poses no food safety risk. However, it does have a strong odour, similar to garlic which customers are likely to find unpleasant."

It added: "Only products bought since the New Year may be affected, they will have a best before date of October 2015." And urged customers to return any affected squash they had at home.

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