Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cadbury Recall

I’ve been following the news that Cadbury UK has recalled one million candy bars following the discovery that they were contaminated with salmonella.

While salmonella is present in many of the foods we eat, they’re usually things like chicken or eggs that, when properly cooked, will often present little risk to healthy people. Chocolate, as a foodstuff that is consumed as is, may be a good vector for spreading the intestinal ailment. While Cadbury maintains that the contamination levels of the chocolate are too low on average, that’s an average and there are some chocolate pieces that are more contaminated than others and it’s impossible to know.

The UK press has been looking into the matter and what’s more startling is the story behind the contamination ... that it went on for four months ... including the Easter candy seasons, so you can be sure that thousands and thousands of chocolate sweets were consumed by little children who are higher risk for salmonella than healthy adults.

Mr Shattock said Cadbury was ?very concerned? about the damage the recall could do to its reputation.

It had been ordered not because any of its products might be a danger to health but to avoid ?confusion? over the increased incidence of the montevideo strain.

He added: ?Our products are perfectly safe to eat and we have no evidence that anyone has been ill from eating them.?

A spokeswoman for the HPA said there had been 45 cases of the ?rare strain? salmonella montevideo over the last four months, compared with just 12 over the same period last year, including a significant rise among children. (link)

The part that has irritated me the most is how the chocolate was contaminated and the amount of time it went on. Apparently the salmonella found its way into the “milk crumb” through a leaking pipe above the production line at the Marlbrook plant, near Leominster. (The factory produces 97,000 tons of milk chocolate crumb every year from milk, sugar and cocoa liquor.) The pipe contained waste water from the system that was used to wash down the equipment. The leak was discovered in January, but Cadbury didn’t fix it right away, or even send anything to a lab until February. (link to article) It’s unclear how long the leak went on, but it’s clear that Cadbury didn’t report the contamination quickly and took their sweet time in issuing the recall for candy that is most likely already consumed (after all, some of it was Easter candy).

For reference, the products recalled are 250g Dairy Milk Turkish, Dairy Milk Caramel and Dairy Milk Mint bars, eight chunk Dairy Milk bars, 1kg Dairy Milk bars, 10p Freddo bars, and 105g Dairy Milk Buttons Easter Eggs. If you’ve bought any of these imported bars, either return them or simply throw them away. Rest assured that the American-produced Cadbury bars are not contaminated as they are produced by Hershey.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:48 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     News

  1. It’s been so wierd these past few days, seeing the “infected” bars on the shelves and thinking “Hmmm…I wonder if…No, that’s stupid…Russian roule- No!”

    Comment by GTO on 6/25/06 at 12:37 pm #
  2. I bought several Cadbury bars at Heathrow Airport a few weeks ago.  I ate one of them late last week, which was a 10p Freddo Bar. I am away from my house now so I cannot give the specific type but the other two are (1) a large block of milk chocolate with nuts and (2) a 15p milk chocolate bar with a creme center of some kind. 

    Are these bars potentially tainted or are they ok to eat?  Also, could I still get sick from eating the Fredo Bar?

    Comment by M J Zaksas on 6/28/06 at 2:12 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    GTO - I think the newer bars on the shelves are safe, the bars in question were produced until March or April (the articles disagree).

    M J - you should definitely check out the Cadbury site or the other local info that’s probably more up-to-date than what I get over here in the States.

    My understanding of salmonella is that you usually get sick within two days of consuming it, usually within hours. Most people don’t even notice it, just a little tummy rumbly and they’re done. It’s often small children and elderly that have larger health issues where it becomes a concern.

    When in doubt throw it out.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/28/06 at 6:37 am #
  4. Salmonella always reminds me of Semolina, just because they look/sound vaguely similar. Riduculous that…A lot of words and phrases remind me of food. “World cup” has always made me think “caramel” through caramel cups.

    Stupid brain.

    Comment by GTO on 6/29/06 at 12:28 pm #
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