Mars Chocolate recalls millions of bars in Germany

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

The Mars recall, sparked by fears of plastic contamination, later spread to UK products
The Mars recall, sparked by fears of plastic contamination, later spread to UK products
Millions of Mars, Milky Ways and Snicker bars have been recalled by Mars Chocolate in Germany – on fears of contamination with pieces of plastic – while the recall later widened to include UK products. 

The recall also included: Milky Way Minis and Miniatures and certain kinds of boxes of Celebrations.

Products affected carried best before dates from June 19 2016 to January 8 2017.

‘Voluntary recall’

The company said in a statement today (February 23): “Mars Chocolate is carrying out a voluntary recall of chocolate products of Mars, Milky Way and Celebrations, after a bit of plastic was found in a product.”

Further details of the recall were expected later today.

An Food Standards Agency spokesman told yesterday (February 23): “The FSA is aware of the reports of the Mars recalls in Germany and the Netherlands.

“We are checking with the company whether products on sale in the UK are affected.”

Meanwhile, press reports suggested the recall could affect more than 50 countries. The Associated Press reported Roel Govers, spokesman for Mars in the Netherlands, as saying the recall affected 55 countries. 

Recalled in the Netherlands

The Dutch news agency ANP reported Mars Chocolate products had been recalled in the Netherlands. The Dutch recall affected products manufactured in Veghel, in the south of the country, reported ANP.

Yesterday afternoon Mars’s websites – including its German site​ – appeared to have crashed.

Meanwhile, food and drink product recalls soared by 78% last year​, revealed a report earlier this month by insurance firm Lockton.

A total of 159 food products were recalled in 2015, up from 89 in the previous year, with unlisted ingredients being the main reason for a recall.

Read how Mars later confirmed the recall had widened to include UK products​.

The analysts' view

“It looks like fears over plastic-plagued Mars and Snickers bars may be more widespread than first thought, Mars (parent company this time, not bar) expanding its recall to 55 countries. This is the kind of thing that can have a real impact on a company’s earnings (just look at Nestlé’s ​Maggi noodles issues​ in India), so it will be interesting to see what kind of knock on effect this has on the confectionery giant going forwards.”

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Reply to Derrick

Posted by Food Tech Man,

Well no, obviously 1 piece of plastic would not trigger a multinational recall.

Large companies, such as Mars, will use a series of risk assessments based on the number of complaints received, as well as RCA (Root Cause Analysis) before they trigger such a potentially damaging course of action such as this.

This seems like a contamination right at the beginning of the supply chain for it to affect so many products, maybe an issue in the bulk chocolate plant.

As to whether its an over reaction, everyone in the industry remembers how much worse Cadbury made their situation by not recalling products as soon as they became aware of the issue

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The Practical View

Posted by Derrick Blunden Marketing Communications Detectamet,

One piece of plastic makes a plague?
Mars was the first food company to use metal detectors to protect its customers.
They now specify detectable plastic equipment in their UK operations.
It's easy to take shots from an office chair. I will still buy my emergency winter stock of Mars Bars....but don't tell my wife. I'm on a diet!

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