A massive Mars recall has reportedly affected 55 countries across the world, including the U.K., France and the Netherlands.
Mars Chocolate UK has recalled products produced in the Netherlands that might contain pieces of plastic, reported the Food Standards Agency.
According to The Guardian, the recall came after a customer found a piece of red plastic in a Snickers bar bought in Germany on Jan. 8. Following the customer's complaint to the company, the plastic was traced back to a factory in the southern Dutch town of Veghel, where it was determined that the piece came from a protective cover used in the manufacturing process.
In the U.K., the recalled products are:
A spokeswoman for Mars Netherlands said, "We cannot be sure that this plastic was only in that particular Snickers. We do not want any products on the market that may not meet our quality requirements, so we decided to take them all back."
Eline Bijveld, Mars' corporate affairs coordinator for the Netherlands, added, "As far as we know there are 55 countries involved. We are investigating exactly what's happened, but we cannot be sure that this red piece of plastic isn't in any other of our products from the same production line."
It's estimated that the financial cost of the recall will run into the "tens of millions of dollars" due to the cost of the recall process, losses from writing off products and lost sales.
The largest and most expensive food recall in the U.K. was in 2007. It turned into a serious public health alert when confectionery group Cadbury had to recall more than a million bars of chocolate after traces of salmonella were found in its products. The company was prosecuted and fined £1m after the "major food poisoning outbreak" in which 42 people became ill and three more were admitted to hospital.
In a press release, Mars UK said, "Consumers who have one of the above products are requested not to consume it and to contact our Consumer Care team using the following details:
Telephone: 0800 952 008
Post: Mars R1, FREEPOST, Mars Consumer Care
Mars Chocolate UK regrets any inconvenience caused to our consumers. We offer our consumers our sincerest apologies."
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