Oct. 28, 2010 -- Two major candy makers in the U.S. have issued pre-Halloween recalls of tens of thousands of kid-sized bags and boxes of popular childhood treats, including lollipops and chocolate-covered raisins, because of possible contamination problems.
Nestle USA’s Confections and Snacks Division, based in Glendale, Calif., says it is recalling 25,000 Nestle Raisinets Fun-Size 10-ounce bags because some may contain “undeclared peanuts,” which could prove dangerous to people with peanut allergies.
And Miami-based Colombina USA spokesman Bradley Gerber tells WebMD that the company has recalled 90,000 bags of its popular Mega Pops brand lollipops because the candies may contain “traces of foreign particles,” believed to be tiny amounts of stainless steel.
Tricia Bowles, a spokeswoman for Nestles, tells WebMD that 1,063 cases in one production code are affected by the Raisinets recall. A case contains 25,000 bags. She says “the vast majority have been pulled from retail shelves” and were shipped only to three retailers, Target, Shop Rite, and Don Quixote.
She says three complaints have been received. Though the Raisinets contain precautionary statements that the candies are made on “equipment that also processes peanuts,” they might contain some peanuts not declared on the label.
Nestle USA says only snacks with a production code of 02015748/UPC number 2800010255 production number are affected.
Bowles tells WebMD that “the vast majority have been pulled from retail sales” and that Target managed “to immediately stop scanning that particular bar code brand.” She says Shop Rite has a club card system that allowed it to call customers who had purchased RAISINETS Fun size Bags.
She says retailers have said there are no more packs of the candies on store shelves and that no other Nestle candy products except the one being recalled are affected.
“Providing safe, high quality products to our customers is our number one priority,” Nestle USA says in a news release. “We have advised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and will cooperate fully in their investigations.”
Allergic reactions to peanuts can be serious or life-threatening. Consumers who are allergic to peanuts and who have purchased the recalled Nestle product have been advised by Nestle not to eat the Raisinets, the company says. Customers with questions should call 800-478-5670; the company says consumers also may email the firm at [email protected].
The lollipops subject to the recall come in 14-ounce or 28-ounce bags containing cherry, watermelon, orange, and grape flavored lollipops, often called suckers.
Colombina says it does not believe its lollipops pose a health risk but is withdrawing candies identified by UPC code numbers 0 14272 10873 9 or 0 14272 10862 3 in lots numbered 1240695, 1209708, and 1209796 because of unspecified “traces” of foreign particles.
It says customers should return the lollipops to stores where they were purchased and receive a refund or credit. The offer applies to all bags of Mega Pops that customers may be concerned about, regardless of lot number, the company says.
“We are always guided by customer safety and satisfaction,’’ Carlos Gil, Colombina USA vice president, says in a news release posted on the FDA’s web site. “Using an abundance of caution, we are working with all our valued retailers to quickly remove the product from the shelves.”
Gil says the company has set up a 24-hour hotline to answer questions from consumers, 888-317-3686.
He says Colombina is working with the FDA as well as retailers, and that the effort won’t stop until “the matter has been resolved.”
Until it is, Mega Pops will be unavailable in the U.S. because Colombina has asked all retailers to remove the products from shelves.
One of Colombina’s retailers, Family Dollar Stores, says it is notifying customers in North Carolina of the possible presence of “metal fibers or flakes” in some Mega Pops lollipops. Family Dollar says it “does not believe that these foreign materials pose a health danger” but nevertheless has removed the product from its store shelves.
The product in question is Colombina Mega Pops, which feature the name “Colombina” printed on packaging.