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Food bank recalls candy for chemical risk; two people sick

Federal officials and local police are warning the public about “Bibi Frutix” candy in small plastic containers shaped like baby bottles because it is expected of containing a chemical substance that has sickened at least two people. Food banks distributed at least some of the implicated candy.

The Wamego (KS) Police Department posted this photo of the implicated candy on its Facebook with a public warning after receiving reports of illnesses.

The Wamego (Kansas) Police Department posted its warning Dec. 5 after receiving several reports about the candy, including two about people who had “adverse reactions.” The department posted a photo of the implicated candy, saying its label indicates it is a product of Mexico.

“While this is an isolated report it is unknown where the candy has been distributed as the candy was not purchased at a local store,” according to the Wamego Police Department warning.

“The powdery substance — normally sugar — has not been analyzed at this time. However several people who sampled contents reported the powder had a chemical taste and two people had adverse reactions.”

A similar warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, dated Dec. 8, included similar information, but referenced only one reported illness.

“A partner food pantry agency in Wamego, KS, notified Harvesters — The Community Food Network of potentially contaminated Bibi Frutix candy product it received through Harvesters’ distribution program,” according to the warning posted Dec. 9 on the FDA’s website.

“Harvesters followed recall procedures, including issuing a recall notice to all of its food pantry partners and checking to see if any product remained in its warehouses. To date, no product has been found beyond what was involved in the initially reported incident in Wamego, KS.”

It was not clear from the police and FDA notices whether the implicated candy, which was donated to Harvesters, had been distributed to retailers, wholesalers or other charitable food distribution entities. Harvesters officials estimated they received six or fewer cases of the candy.

However, the FDA reported that Harvesters agencies in a 19-county area in Kansas and Missouri, including the Kansas City metro area, could have received the candy.

Harvesters’ agencies that could have received the product are located in the following 19 counties of Harvesters’ service area in Kansas and Missouri are:

  • Kansas — Johnson, Wyandotte, Miami, Franklin, Douglas, Jefferson, Shawnee, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee; and
  • Missouri — Jackson, Platte, Clay, Ray, Lafayette, Johnson and Bates. Harvesters continues to cooperate with local and state authorities to determine the potential scope of the distribution.

The FDA has advised, if a member of the community has possession of the candy product, do not consume the product and dispose of it immediately.

People who experience symptoms should contact their health care provider for treatment. If you believe product you received was contaminated, you may file a complaint with the FDA consumer complaint coordinator for Kansas and Missouri at 800-202-9780.

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