A privately-owned French beverage company, Castel Group, the new shareholders of the Sobo brand has been taken to task by Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) for supplying substandard Sobo Orange Squash last month.

The bureau has therefore ordered the company to recall, reconcile and issue an apology to consumers within seven days.

In a published statement on Monday, MBS director general Davlin Chokazinga said failure to oblige to the order would result in withdrawal of the manufacturer’s certification marks, consequently suspending production of the product.

It was reported last month that the product under batch numbers B284, B285, B286 and B287 manufactured on December 3 2017 had become “unfit for human consumption” and consumers complained to MBS.

In some cases the Sobo had started to show signs of fermentation – a process that converts sugar to acids, gases, or alcohol.

MBS boss Davlin Chokazinga said the bureau undertook thorough investigations on the products and laboratory results show that the product had high microbiological counts of yeast and mounds.

“The investigation revealed that the cause of the problem was that the production crew on that date erroneously added low quantities of preservatives [sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate] to the production batches, about one third of the required amount,” reads the MBS statement in part.

Castel Group bought 59.48 percent stake from Carlsberg Malawi last year while Press Corporation Limited remained a minority shareholder with 39.65 percent.