Food agencies in Great Britain and Ireland have warned about the food safety risks posed by a fake chocolate bar.
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) told people not to buy or eat counterfeit Wonka Bars, which are being sold in shops and online in the countries.
The agencies said it is possible that they are being produced or repacked by unregistered businesses and by individuals who could be breaking food hygiene, labeling and traceability laws. The advice comes after a sharp increase in reports of the counterfeit chocolate bars during the past year.
Some of the products removed from sale contained allergens which weren’t listed on the label.
Tina Potter, head of incidents at the FSA, said: “With Easter less than a month away, it is more important than ever that parents and grandparents are aware of the risks that these bogus chocolate bars could pose to their children, particularly those living with a food allergy or intolerance.
“There is no way of knowing what ingredients are in these bars or what food hygiene practices are being followed by the people making or repackaging them.”
Any Wonka-branded chocolate which does not have the official “Ferrero” or “Ferrara Candy Company” trademarks on the label is likely to be a fake product.
Not only allergen issues
Letters have been sent to councils responsible for investigating and enforcing food law to advise them to remove any fake products from sale.
People that have bought or see counterfeit Wonka Bars on shelves or online are advised to raise the issue with the retailer and report it to their local authority.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has also noted an increase in reports that counterfeit chocolate bars with the Wonka brand name are being sold in the country.
Agency officials said examples of issues identified include a false company name and address on the label, the rewrapping of various shop bought or homemade chocolate bars in Wonka wrappers and unregistered food businesses selling products online.
Pamela Byrne, FSAI chief executive, urged consumers to be aware of the possible risks posed by imitation chocolate bars.
“The FSAI is working closely with the food inspectors in the environmental health service of the HSE to ensure any counterfeit Wonka branded chocolate bars where there is a known or suspected consumer health risk are removed from sale. Consumers have a right to safe food and counterfeit foodstuffs will be pursued using the legal powers available to us.”
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