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Supermarkets and Numark recall own-brand cough syrup over mould fears

Manufacturer Bell, Sons & Co told C+D it is investigating the cause of the mould
Manufacturer Bell, Sons & Co told C+D it is investigating the cause of the mould

Supermarkets and Numark pharmacies have been told to recall their own-brand cough syrups following reports of mould, the medicines watchdog has announced.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued the recall yesterday (June 20) for 15 batches of cough syrup (see a full list below) sold across Numark pharmacies, Superdrug, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Wilko stores.

The batches are all produced by Bell, Sons & Co, which told C+D it is “still undergoing investigations as to the cause”.

“We’ve got some strong indications [of] what the cause is and once we've [confirmed] that, we will take the necessary steps to prevent this happening again,” it added.

”A precautionary measure”

The MHRA said the recall is a “precautionary measure” following a “small number of reports of mould”.

“All retailers and wholesale customers have been notified and stock is already being recalled at store level,” it said. “Patients are being asked to return bottles from the above batches to the shop they bought it from.”

“At the time of writing, the MHRA has not received any reports of adverse drug reactions relating to this issue,” it stressed.

“The mould has been identified as Penicillium decumbens, Penicillium corylophilum and Penicillium brevicompactum,” it added. “Although these moulds may be inactivated in the stomach, there is a low potential risk of systemic infection in younger or immunocompromised children, causing symptoms of infection such as fever.”

Read the MHRA's recall alert here.

Multiples react

Numark and Rowlands parent company Phoenix told C+D that all Phoenix customers – including Numark members – have been alerted, as have all Rowlands branches.

Superdrug told C+D that “even though there is a low risk of a reaction, we have taken the precautionary step of recalling all our own-brand children’s blackcurrant cough syrup from our shelves.”

The multiple is also issuing a poster to its stores today to inform its customers, as well as emailing those who have already bought the product, it added.

Product description Batch D code Expiry date Pack size Date released
Asda Children's Dry Cough Syrup Glycerol Blackcurrant Flavour 274V1 D10-5120 August 1, 2020 200 ml September 27, 2017
Asda Children's Dry Cough Syrup Glycerol Blackcurrant Flavour 276V1 D10-5120 October 1, 2020 200 ml October 31, 2017
Asda Children's Dry Cough Syrup Glycerol Blackcurrant Flavour 278V1 D10-5120 December 1, 2020 200 ml January 2, 2018
Asda Children's Dry Cough Syrup Glycerol Blackcurrant Flavour 283W1 D10-5120 February 1, 2021 200 ml February 19, 2018
Bell's Healthcare Children's Dry Cough Glycerin 0.75g/5ml Syrup 280V3 D10-4315 December 1, 2020 200 ml January 4, 2018
Morrisons Children's Dry Tickly Cough Glycerin 0.75g/5ml Oral Solution 282W1 D10-4325 January 1, 2021 200 ml January 30, 2018
Numark Children's Dry Cough 0.75 g/5 ml Oral Solution 280V1 D10-4042 December 1, 2020 200 ml January 4, 2018
Numark Children's Dry Cough 0.75 g/5 ml Oral Solution 288W1 D10-4042 April 1, 2021 200 ml April 27, 2018
Sainsbury's Children's Dry Cough 0.75g/5ml Syrup 275V1 D10-0112 September 1, 2020 200 ml October 11, 2017
Superdrug Children's Dry Tickly Cough Glycerin 0.75 g/5 ml Oral Solution 280V2 D10-4695 December 1, 2020 200 ml January 4, 2018
Superdrug Children's Dry Tickly Cough Glycerin 0.75 g/5 ml Oral Solution 284W1 D10-4695 March 1, 2021 200 ml March 24, 2018
Tesco Children's Dry Cough Syrup 277V1 D10-4271 October 1, 2021 200 ml October 31, 2017
Tesco Children's Dry Cough Syrup 278V2 D10-4271 December 1, 2020 200 ml January 2, 2018
Tesco Children's Dry Cough Syrup 281W1 D10-4271 January 1, 2021 200 ml January 30, 2018
Wilko Tickly Cough 0.75g/5ml Oral Solution 275V2 D10-0310 September 1, 2020 200 ml October 11, 2017
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