Mars recalls chocolate bars in 55 countries

Feb 23, 2016, 5:06 PM EST
The inside of a Mars bar.
Source: Michael N/flickr

Mars is recalling chocolate bars in 55 countries after plastic was found in a Snickers bar.

The Guardian reports

An international recall of a range of chocolate bars has been announced by Mars because of fears that customers could choke on pieces of plastic. The recall, which affects 55 countries, could end up costing the company tens of millions of dollars. Mars announced the recall after a customer found a piece of red plastic in a Snickers bar bought in Germany on 8 January. After he complained to the company, the plastic was traced back to its 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. Products affected include bars of Mars, Milky Way, Snickers, Celebrations and Mini Mix, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the company. The recall was a “voluntary” one and was being done as a precautionary measure, spokespeople for Mars said. A spokeswoman for Mars in the UK said Britain was “hardly impacted” and that the recall related only to fun-size packs. Mars was unable to give figures for the number of products which would have to be taken off shelves.

The New York Times writes:

It was not immediately clear how much the recall would cost the company, which is based in New Jersey and is one of the world’s biggest food companies. Mars, which also makes Wrigley gum, Uncle Ben’s rice and Pedigree pet food, is privately held and does not disclose detailed financial information. The recall is the first to affect the factory, which employs about 1,200 people. Mars Netherlands said it was working closely with the Dutch food safety authority on the matter.

Reuters notes:

Time delays between customer complaints and recalls are not uncommon since companies often receive notices, some fraudulent, about foreign objects in food, said Stephen Robb, a partner at Weightmans LLP in Leicester, who represents manufacturers and their insurers on product liability matters. Consumer product recalls can result in heavy reputational and financial hits, as Nestle learned last year when it recalled its Maggi noodles from India after a package was found to have unsafe levels of lead. Cadbury's 2006 recall of more than 1 million chocolate bars after a salmonella outbreak cost that company roughly 20 million pounds.