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peanut allergies, allergens, food allergies, and Technology

Hershey recalls chocolate products.

Posted by Dave on November 15, 2006

Salmonella contamination a concern

Most of affected products still in warehouse

Nov. 13, 2006. 06:11 AM

Hershey Canada has announced a voluntary recall of several popular brands of chocolate chips, bars and candy — including Oh Henry!, Reese Peanut Butter Cups and Glosettes — manufactured over the last month due to fears of salmonella contamination at its Smiths Falls, Ont., factory. No illnesses have been reported but the company has received numerous calls from the public since making the announcement yesterday, a company spokesman said. The move is considered a precautionary measure because it does not appear that there was a widespread distribution of these products, which were made between Oct. 15 and Nov. 10, to store shelves, said Marie-Andrée Lefebvre of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The majority of the chocolate products are still in the candy maker’s distribution system including its warehouses and the Smiths Falls factory, she said. “For sure we are concerned. The volume (of the recall) is pretty big,” said Lefebvre, noting the agency is working closely with Hershey Canada to rectify matters and ensure public safety. “They’ve been very co-operative,” she said. “We are working with them to make sure everything is fine.” The 25 items included in the recall can be identified by checking the back of the package for date codes, starting with four digits ranging from 6417 to 6455. The recall excludes Hershey’s Halloween and Christmas candy. Those products are made at a different time of the year. The Smiths Falls plant was abruptly shut down last Thursday night and workers told not to report to work Friday after a routine quality control check detected an “externally sourced ingredient” which could potentially cause salmonella, the company said. The chocolate producer is the largest employer in the eastern Ontario town of 9,000, dubbed the “chocolate capital of Canada.” The plant opened in 1963 and produces 45,000 kilograms of chocolate a year. The head office of the historic candy maker is located in Pennsylvania. “Our goal is to re-open the factory as soon as we’re confident that the issue has been addressed,” said Hershey spokesman Stephanie Moritz. “Certainly product quality and safety are top priorities for us,” she said. Consumers who have purchased the recalled items are being told to discard the product and will be reimbursed in coupons by sending the wrapper to The Hershey Co., Consumer Relations, 100 Crystal A Drive, Hershey, PA., 17033-0810. Hershey will also answer questions at 1-800-468-1714. “A lot of people eat chocolate. We can’t say that nothing went to the retail side,” said Lefebvre. “We want to make sure it was not sold” to the public, Lefebvre added. “We are working in close co-operation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to quickly retrieve the product in question from our customers and to ensure that consumers who may have purchased this product are aware of the potential health concern,” Hershey Canada general manager Eric Lent said in a statement.


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