DUBAI: US chocolate giant Mars on Wednesday announced a recall of Mars and Snickers products from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including the UAE.

“Mars Gulf, including the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman markets, have decided to take a precautionary recall of a selection of Snickers [Miniatures], Mars [Minis and Miniatures] and Best of Our Minis products produced in The Netherlands after finding a piece of red plastic in one of Snickers bar purchased in Germany,” the company said in a statement issued in Dubai.

Ahmad Helaly, Acting General Manager, Mars Gulf, said: “This is an isolated case related to some products manufactured in the Netherlands. The majority of the products sold in the GCC region, including Mars and Snickers bars, are manufactured in our factory in Jebel Ali in the UAE. All of these locally manufactured products are not affected by this incident.”

The announcement came a day after millions of chocolate products were deemed possibly unsafe for consumption in 55 countries after a customer in Germany found a piece of red plastic in his Snickers bar on January 8, agencies reported late on Tuesday. 

“As far as we know there are 55 countries involved,” Eline Bijveld, Mars corporate affairs coordinator for the Netherlands told AFP, refusing to divulge the whole list. Bijveld could not give the exact number of chocolate bars produced daily at the factory, but said about four million items were being recalled in The Netherlands alone.

Earlier on Wednesday, Khalid Sharif Al Awadhi, Executive Director of Food Control at Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News: “We are going to meet with the company’s representatives and see if there are any chocolates here from the batch in question,” he added.The recall is limited to the following products produced in Netherlands:

Product Name, Weight                                     Expiry Dates

Snickers Miniatures 150g                              4 Dec 16 – 8 Jan 17

Mars Minis 144g                                              11 Dec 16 – 8 Jan 17

Mars Minis 270g                                              11 Dec 16 – 8 Jan 17

Mars Miniatures 150g                                     4 Dec 16 – 1 Jan 17

Best of Our Minis 710g                                   11 Sep 16 – 13 Nov 16

Best of Our Minis 500g                                   4 Sep 16 – 13 Nov 16

Similarly, Omar Al Muhairi, head of the food control section at Sharjah Municipality, had said that they have not received any orders to recall any chocolates from the market yet.

In the UAE, the company said: “This is a voluntary measure taken by Mars to avoid any possibility of health hazards that may be caused by the presence of pieces of plastics.

“This is an isolated incident that is limited to the products above produced in the Netherlands. This incident has no impact on any of our same chocolate brands or products outside the above list or produced in other countries regardless of format, size, batches or packaging.”

“Mars Gulf would like to reassure that this precautionary measure is driven by our belief that our consumer safety is our first priority and we will take all the necessary measures to protect the safety of our consumers. We advise consumers who have purchased any of these with the above mentioned expiry dates and manufactured in The Netherlands not to consume the product and to contact the

Mars Consumer Care representative on the following email address,” it said.

“Mars Gulf would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our consumers by this incident,” the statement added.

— With inputs from Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter & AFP