UK dairy products group Dairy Crest has recalled around 2m tubs of Clover butter after a fault in the production process allowed mould to grow in the containers.

The recall affects all sizes of Clover - 250g, 500g, 1kg and 2kg - and all best before dates up to and including 10th August 2007.

The mould is most commonly found in blue cheese and, while it may cause the spread to develop an unpleasant taste, there is no threat to health.

The fault was discovered after an increase in the number of customer complaints. "We noticed that there had been a slightly higher incidence of people contacting us with complaints of a 'blue cheese flavour'," a spokesperson for the company told just-food today (29 May). "While the number of complaints was still a very small proportion of total sales, it was enough to alert us that there could be an issue."

The spokesperson said Dairy Crest is still investigating the source of the mould. She added: "In the meantime we have closed down production at the affected site. While there is no threat to health, we felt that the responsible thing to do was to launch a total recall."

While the cost of the recall is yet to be determined, the majority of expenses are expected to be covered by Dairy Crest's insurance, with the exception of a GBP1m (US$1.99m) excess. 

Shares in Dairy Crest dropped following the announcement, falling 3.57% at 1.20pm (GMT) to 676 pence.