The State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT) carried out an unplanned check on a select 12-bars pack of Kinder chocolate with lot number LO87HG-1A and expiration date of Aug 8, 2018 at Eugesta UAB (a domestic distribution company), and identified organoleptic characteristics.
VMVT later revealed a total of 14,400 units of these confections were supplied to the Lithuanian market by Ferrero Polska Commercial, and it encouraged consumers to return the products to their points of sales.
No quality issue at production
The Nutella maker told ConfectioneryNews these affected Kinder chocolate bars were produced in Germany by Ferrero oHG mbH.
“We would like to confirm that the quality and safety of our products and consumers’ health are our utmost priority,” said a Ferrero’s spokesperson.
“We checked our internal records related to the involved product and, upon further analysis by SGS – Institut Fresenius, a world's leading inspection and certification company, we can confirm that no quality or safety issue occurred at production time.
“SGS also analyzed some samples of the product marketed in Lithuania and found the presence of some molecules commonly used as food flavoring components (e.g. eucalyptus oil, limonene, etc.) that affected the usual taste and smell of the product,” the spokesperson added.
“According to scientific studies, this organoleptic deviation does not pose any concern from a food safety and human health point of view.”
‘Incorrect storage or handling’
Ferrero speculated the incidence was probably caused by an ‘incorrect storage or handling’ of the products with non-food items during on the last steps of the delivery chain in Lithuania.
“We have not been informed about similar complaints in any other countries,” the spokesperson said.
“We are currently working closely with the Lithuanian distributor to support it in its investigation on the reported case as well as on all necessary actions required by local authorities.
“As a responsible manufacturer, we would like to reiterate our full commitment to supply safe and high quality products to our consumers as per our usual Ferrero standards and in full compliance with local applicable legislations,” added the spokesperson.