According to a number of US reports, Amy Hu from Santa Clara, California found a three inch razor blade wrapped in white tape in a bag of Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘n Chew Candy – a product marketed to children.
The contaminated unit is understood to have been manufactured in Brazil.
According to reports from the US, Hershey’s has no plans to issue a recall of the product - claiming that the razor blade contamination was an isolated incident.
“Food safety and the well-being of our customers is a top priority for the Hershey Company,” said a statement issued to US news outlet KGO-TV by Hershey's.
“We were contacted by the customer yesterday regarding this incident and immediately began reviewing our processes related to our Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘n Chew Candy. We have apologised to the customer and, while there was no injury, we take this situation seriously.
“We believe this is an isolated case and accidental in nature. We will be taking the needed actions to prevent this happening in the future.”
FoodProductionDaily.com approached Hershey's concerning the razor blade incident, but no comments were forthcoming before publication.
Tony Bowmer from RSA, a UK-based food safety consultancy, told FoodProductionDaily.com that although he has no knowledge of the incident, the presence of a razor blade in this case suggests it may have been “deliberately introduced.”
"A razor blade clearly has no place in food manufacture; its presence suggests it was deliberately introduced. In USA, food security measures would help reduce the likelihood of such as incident, but no security measure is fool proof against a determined employee.”
“Physical contaminates need to be identified as part of a company’s HACCP. Use of a metal detector would be an obvious control for all but the smallest manufacturer. Nearly all manufacturers have metal detectors, however many do not have robust verification systems to confirm the system is working effectively,” Bowmer added.
Earlier this year, French food manufacturer William Saurin was forced to defend safety measures at its processing plants after a man claimed to have found a box cutting blade in a can of beef bourguignon.
The firm was unable to explain how the blade came to be in the can, but removed a batch of the product from shelves as a precaution.