Mars recalls 'Snickers' chocolate bars in 55 countries after plastic find

24 February 2016

Happy go lucky travellers in at least 55 countries will not be able, at least for the present, to pull out the highly sought after `Snickers' bars for an instant bite after chocolate giant Mars ordered a massive international recall of contaminated `Mars' and `Snickers' bars.

Mars's action comes after a German ban on the product after a customer, on 8 January, reportedly found a piece of red plastic in the Snicker chocolate bar he bought from a store.

The company had since traced the origin of the batch of contaminated chocolate bars to a factory in Veghel, the Netherlands, and determined that the plastic came from a protective cover used in the plant's manufacturing process.

This could have rendered millions of chocolate bars unsafe for consumption in 55 countries as in the 8 January incident in Germany.

In a website release Mars stated that it has made a precautionary decision to voluntarily recall a selection of `Snickers', `Mars', Milkyway' and `Celebrations' products produced at its Netherlands factory.

The company said it was an isolated incident and that the recall is specific to products manufactured at the Netherlands facility during a limited production period - 5 December 2015 to 18 January 2016.
However, Mars said, though the number of products affected is limited, they have been shipped to numerous countries outside the Netherlands, including some duty free retailers. Hence, as a precaution, the product recall is being implemented in all markets served by our Netherlands facility, it added.

''Only certain products labeled on pack as ''Mars Netherlands'' are affected by this recall. Mars Netherlands exports to a number of countries and some duty-free outlets, so the easiest way for consumers to determine whether they have a product that has been recalled is to look at the label. If it is not labeled ''Mars Netherlands,'' it is not included in the recall.''

The recall, which also affects Milky Way minis and some boxes of Celebrations, hit most European countries and extended as far as Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

It is the first time that Mars has had to recall products made at its Veghel factory, which opened in 1963 and employs about 1,200 people.

Mars, a family-owned company since it was founded in 1911, recorded annual global sales of around $33 billion.

The rival of Kraft Foods and Nestle employs more than 18,400 people in Europe alone and operates in 74 countries worldwide.

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