South African sweet manufacturer and confectionery products company Richester Foods has distanced itself from reports that a number of kids allegedly got sick from eating one of their products.
This comes after videos surfaced on social media earlier this week showing a number of young children needing hospital treatment in KwaMaphumulo in KwaZulu-Natal after allegedly eating Richester Foods’ Xpop Energy Red Dragon.
In one of the videos, a woman can be seen holding the lollipop, saying the kids are sick, they are vomiting, and others have lost their eyesight because of the product. She also states that a message of awareness should be made so that other parents won’t allow their children to consume the product.
Many people were left enraged by the incident. Taking to the comment section, one user wrote: “The police and the government will not do anything. it is up to us to solve these problems by mobilising and doing it ourselves, otherwise sizophela nya, let’s stand up for our communities”.
Another user commented: “Till today, we don't know what happened with the noodles that killed kids. Now, this.” While a third said: “This is bad. Sweets should not be allowed at schools. If they do, kids must bring them from home. Parents should tell their children to refuse sweets from friends and strangers. Some of these sweets are laced with drugs.”
In a statement, Richester Foods stated that this is not possible with their product.
“We received a complaint about our product, XPOP Energy Red Dragon, causing severe sickness to children that have consumed it after purchasing it from a vendor shop in Maphumulo, KwaZulu-Natal. We would like to confidently say that this is not possible.
The statement continues:
“All the ingredients in our factory are sourced from reputable companies that follow all the stringent health safety regulations as required for the food industry. Our factory follows these same regulations throughout the manufacturing process. All our products are quality checked throughout this process (from receipt of raw material to dispatch) to ensure compliance with not only the South African government's regulations but also our own quality standards.
We have been selling the XPOP Energy Red Dragon lollipop since 2017, and we have not had any complaints about this product in the past five years that it has been available to the public. All our products are developed with children in mind, and we ensure that all the ingredients we use as well as the end product are safe to consume by children and adults.”