Plastic found in chocolate slabs sparks recall

File photo / Brett Phibbs
File photo / Brett Phibbs

Popular chocolate brand Whittaker's has issued a recall after pieces of blue plastic were found in one of its chocolate brands.

The recall affects 180g packets of almond gold mini slabs, with the batch number L0944 and a best before date of April 4, 2015.

"Having completed an immediate investigation into the product that was returned to us, Whittaker's acted immediately to identify and isolate the affected batch and to notify the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)," said marketing manager Holly Whittaker.

The blue plastic was identified as having come from a piece of equipment that was damaged during production of the batch, she said.

"We believe we have narrowed down the exact timing of when the affected product was packed, but in line with our steadfast commitment to food quality and safety, Whittaker's has chosen to voluntarily recall the entire batch produced that day."

The chocolate company, which has recently used British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson to front its television ads, said it had reviewed its production processes and "implemented some immediate actions to minimise the risk of a similar situation occurring again".

This included investigating alternative components for the chocolate production line and implementing training to reinforce protocols and checks around visual inspections of production line equipment, it said.

"There have been no reports of harm, but customers should not consume any almond gold mini slabs from this specific batch," Ms Whittaker said.

"We apologise unreservedly for any inconvenience or concern this causes our valued customers."

Customers with an affected batch are advised to return the product to their retailer for a full refund.

The Kiwi chocolate maker recently won the Most Trusted Brand title for the third consecutive year on the annual Reader's Digest Most Trusted Brands List and again led the confectionary and iconic New Zealand brand categories.

* For more information contact Whittaker's on 0800 11 99 68.

- APNZ

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