Blog: Dean BestMars undertakes huge recall after latest plastic-in-snacks incident

Dean Best | 23 February 2016

Mars Inc has grabbed mainstream headlines around the world today (23 February) after announcing a recall of chocolate products from over 50 markets after plastic was found in one product. It is comes just months after the US food giant pulled batches in the UK over fears of plastic could be found in products.

The company has recalled chocolate from 55 countries after a consumer in Germany found plastic in a Snickers bar last month.

The plastic has been traced back to Mars' plant in the Dutch town of Veghel, but the recall, announced in the Netherlands and Germany this morning, has widened significantly throughout the day.

It takes in products sold under the Mars, Milky Way, Snickers and Celebrations and brands. The products were manufactured between 5 December and 18 January.

"Only certain products labelled 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 labelled 'Mars Netherlands', it is not included in the recall," the company said.

Last April, Mars recalled a batch of Galaxy Cookie Crumble bars in the UK. At the time, Mars said it had made a "precautionary decision to recall the bars due to the possible presence of a small white piece of plastic".

Today's recall is huge and something of a surprise but shows Mars is acting out of an abundance of caution.

Trace One, the UK-based supply chain consultants, suggested companies, faced with such incidents, had to consider wide recalls.

“Contamination of food products is an issue that food brands and their suppliers will never be free from and that’s why it is essential to ensure that all relevant goods are removed from the shelves. The reality is that brands cannot monitor every possible ingredient at every stage of its journey," Shaun Bossons, Trace One's executive vice president for global business development, said. "In order to ensure the sanctity of the products brands must be able to undertake fast, comprehensive recalls of goods that may have been affected, thereby safeguarding their reputation and limiting consumer damage."

This article was updated at 21:12 on 23 February to include comment from Mars.

Sectors: Confectionery, Food safety, Snacks

Companies: Mars Inc

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