Austria, Germany: mineral oil traces in some sweets

VIENNA (AP) " Traces of mineral oil in some brands of bitter chocolate and a doughnut variety have led several Austrian supermarkets and IKEA Germany to pull products off their shelves. But others have not followed suit.

Austria's Consumer Information Organization, which carried out the tests in that country, says a third of 20 products examined had traces of mineral oil, and that these contained minute amounts of carcinogenic substances.

State broadcaster ORF said Friday that discounters Lidl and Hofer have removed their own brands, and at least one local producer has recalled its product. Others whose chocolate also contained the traces have not done so, however. They say there are no guidelines on how much of the substance is harmful to human health.

Consumer protection groups say the oil could have originated from machines used for production or from the packages used for cocoa beans.

In Germany, the dpa news agency reported that IKEA stopped selling frozen "B&B Pinky" doughnuts after a consumer magazine found saturated mineral oil concentrations in these and other brands.

The magazine found "high" or "very high" concentrations in 11 of 15 varieties tested, dpa said, without specifying amounts. It cited the consumer organization Food Watch as urging producers of the other brands affected to "react quickly."

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This story corrects the day to Friday.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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