In one of the largest product recalls the food industry has ever seen, chocolate giant Mars has pulled products in 55 countries after plastic was found in a Snickers bar.
All of the recalled chocolate bars were manufactured at its Dutch factory in Veghel and include its Mars fun-size, Snickers Miniatures and boxes of Celebrations sold across Europe and Asia.
The tainted Snickers bar was discovered in Germany back in January when a customer found a piece of red plastic embedded in the chocolate.
After he complained, Mars traced the plastic back to its Veghel plant.
It is believed to have come from a broken protective covering on one of the machines that produce the chocolate bars.
“We cannot be sure that this plastic was only in that particular Snickers,” said a Mars spokesperson, but assured customers it was an isolated incident.
“We do not want any products on the market that may not meet our quality requirements, so we decided to take them all back.”
Mars, which is not publicly listed, could not yet determine the financial impact, or indeed the volume of products affected.
The New Jersey-based group is one of the biggest food companies in the world with 29 chocolate brands and various food products, including Uncle Ben’s rice and Pedigree pet food.
Mass product recalls can have substantial financial and reputational implications as Nestle learned last year when it was forced to recall its Maggi noodles from India after they were found to contain unsafe levels of lead.