A chocolate product in medical syringes. Users of the product have said they found the pictures disturbing. Image Credit: Dubai Municipality

Dubai: The Dubai Municipality has issued a warning to people against consumption of unlicensed food products. The warning came after the civic body was apprised of a series of viral text messages on phone and social networking websites showing a chocolate product in medical syringes.

Sources from the company’s Middle East office told Gulf News that one of the users of their product bought it from the market and filled it in syringes.

“They have nothing to do with us. We found out that some people bought the product, filled it in syringes and put the product stickers, which was shown in the messages that were being circulated. It could seriously tarnish brand image and we will take an action against it.”

The pictures that were circulated showed chocolate injections, which some of the product users said they found unpleasant.

Khalid Sherif, Director, Food Control Department, Dubai Municipality, said that the syringes that were used to pack it were found to be manufactured for medical purposes.

“The Ministry of Health confirmed that the medical syringes are not clean or sanitised and might have been used in hospitals to take blood or inject medicine. Therefore, we strongly advise the public to purchase food products from authorised establishments only as they get approval for all food items, apart from the periodical checks by the civic body,” he said.

Talking to Gulf News, he said: “The product is not available in the market. However, people are exchanging the pictures telephonically and through internet and, on our part, we warn people not to consume any food item that is unlicensed.”

Users of the product said they found the pictures disturbing. “I am quite fond of this chocolate spread and seeing it in the form of an injection was rather unpleasant,” said Brenda, a resident.

Social media marketing experts said a complete control of information content was not possible but advised that companies could monitor social media and the users should verify spam and viral messages.

“If it is a telephonic message, it is the free will of a person and you cannot control their opinions. But in case of wrong, misleading content and spamming , there are a host of policies that most of the social media websites have already put into place. As a user, one can also report such information,” said Akanksha Goel, partner of Socialize, a digital media agency.