SAN FRANCISCO-American candy maker Mars announced Tuesday that it was recalling chocolate bars in 55 countries after a piece of plastic was discovered in a Snickers bar bought in Germany in January.
The recall is for millions of miniature, “fun-sized” versions of popular candy bars like Snickers, Mars, Milky Way and Celebrations.
Other popular Mars products like Twix candy bars and M&M chocolates are not being recalled.
Nations affected include European countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom as well as many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, including Turkey and India.
All of the recalled products have expirations dates ranging from June 19, 2016 to Jan. 8, 2017.
Mars claimed that the recall was completely voluntary and meant as a precautionary measure to avoid any possible choking hazards.
“We have intentionally chosen a long production time frame in order to ensure that all possibly affected products are recalled,” the company said.
According to Mars and a 2014 analysis report from Bloomberg, Snickers is the world’s most purchased candy bar.
Based in Virginia, Mars was founded in 1911 and now owns several large brands including pet food maker Pedigree and Wrigley, the world’s largest chewing gum manufacturer.
Since it is privately owned by the Mars family – now one of the wealthiest families in the United States – the company does not regularly release financial information.
Mars reported in 2014 that it had a revenue of $33 billion.
Tuesday’s recall occurred after a German woman told the company that she found a piece of red plastic inside a recently purchased Snickers.
The company explained that the plastic likely came from a cover on a production line in a Dutch factory.
Mars would not reveal the number of candy bars involved in the recall nor how much the recall is likely to cost the company.
(By Barry Eitel)