NAGOYA (Kyodo) -- Pokka Corp. said Monday it will voluntarily recall a total of 4.5 million bottles of lemon juice products after it detected a small amount of fungicide in some of the products.
The detection contradicts the labeling which claims that no such agent is used in the products, the major beverage and foods maker said.
The products subject to the recall are five lemon juice products, including the 300-milliliter Pokka Lemon 100 and lemon juice for shochu distilled alcoholic beverage, that are not past the use-by date as of Monday.
Industry watchers rapped Pokka for taking more than five months to make the announcement after it found that the agent, Imazalil, was detected in the products as early as March.
Pokka said the amount of the agent detected was about one-hundredth of the standard designated under the Food Sanitation Law and has little impact on the health of consumers who had digested the products.
The company admitted that it was investigated in July by the Japan Fair Trade Commission on suspicion of mislabeling.
Pokka said the lemons used in the products were from Israel and Argentina, and were processed to juice in a plant in Israel. Some lemons containing such an agent could have been mixed in during the manufacturing process.