The Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) has found no link between a type of candy bar and reports of illnesses.
In late May the agency became aware of consumers experiencing various symptoms, thought to be after eating Vidal Dipper XL Raspberry chew toffee bars. Rashes, stomach aches, diarrhea and headaches were the most reported symptoms.
The Finnish Food Authority asked importers and retailers to stop selling the product and advised consumers to avoid eating it. However, results from various analyses found the product was in compliance with the regulations as no non-conformances were found. In June, the agency lifted any measures to restrict sale of the candy bars.
No explanation was found between any symptoms experienced and the product. Some of those who felt ill had eaten a lot of the confectionery. The product makes your tongue turn blue and is popular with young people through videos on the app TikTok.
More than 100 reports of illness but testing all clear
Municipal food control authorities got 134 reports from people who had symptoms and the Finnish Food Authority received 25 reports, but consumers might have reported the issue to both agencies. The number of bars eaten did not seem to be directly connected to the amount or severity of symptoms.
Tests on Vidal Dipper XL Raspberry chew were conducted by the Finnish Customs Laboratory. Bars were examined for Brilliant Blue (E133) food coloring concentration, heavy metals, and substances causing allergies or intolerances such as milk, lactose, gluten and soya as well as bacteria. Use of Brilliant Blue in confectionery is allowed and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set a safe daily intake. In tests, the amount of the food coloring did not exceed the limit.
The Spanish manufacturer, Vidal Golosinas S.A, also did testing and found no issues. The company is based in Molina de Segura, Murcia but present in 90 countries.
“The product was found to be safe in all our tests and the authorities have also confirmed it is safe. We are committed to product safety in all situations. We went through the process to get confirmation from authorities that it is safe to sell,” said a company statement.
The implicated candy bars were sold mostly in food stores. The single bars did not have labelling in Finnish and Swedish, but the outer package did have the compulsory food information in both languages. In many stores, the bars were not sold in their outer package, but as a single bar.
Seven people reported they had eaten more than 10 bars at once and one person had eaten over 30 bars. Sixteen ate five to 10 bars, 22 had two to five bars and 15 had one to two bars. In 31 cases the reported number of bars eaten was up to a half or only one bar. In another 31 cases there was no information on the number of bars eaten.
The Finnish Food Authority reminded people that large amounts of sweets are not part of a varied, balanced and moderate diet.
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