Cadbury recalls chocolates in UK over listeria contamination fears

Listeria infection manifests itself in humans with symptoms similar to flu

By Taran Deol
Published: Wednesday 03 May 2023
Cadbury recalls chocolates in UK over fears of listeria contamination
Photo: iStock Photo: iStock

A host of Cadbury chocolates have been recalled in the United Kingdom over fears of potential contamination by Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that causes infection with flu-like symptoms.

The United Kingdom Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued an alert on May 1, 2023 stating that “Müller has taken the precautionary step of recalling some batches of various Cadbury branded dessert products because of the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes.” 

The statement lists six products — Daim Chocolate Dessert, Crunchie Chocolate Dessert, Flake Chocolate Dessert, Dairy Milk Buttons Chocolate Dessert, Dairy Milk Chunks Chocolate Dessert and Cadbury Heroes Chocolate Dessert — with a ‘made by’ date of 17 or 18 May which might be contaminated. 

Müller is a German dairy brand that produces the desserts under the Cadbury licence.

“Müller is recalling the above products and has issued point-of-sale notices to their customers. These notices explain to customers why the products are being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the products,” the alert noted. 

Those who have bought this product have been advised to not eat them and return the product to the store and get a full refund, with or without a receipt. 

Consumers should be on the lookout for symptoms like high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea. “Some people are more vulnerable to listeria infections, including those over 65 years of age, pregnant women and their unborn babies, babies less than one month old and people with weakened immune systems,” the FSA cautions.

The World Health Organization characterises it as a serious but preventable and treatable disease. While it “is a relatively rare disease with 0.1-10 cases per million people a year, depending on the countries and regions of the world, the high rate of death associated with this infection makes it a significant public health concern,” the global health body noted.

Listeria is typically caused by foods infected with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The bacteria exists in the environment: It is found in water, soil and some animals’ intestines. The usually self-limiting disease can prove to be dangerous for a certain set of populations — pregnant people, new-born babies, those above 65 years of age, those with a weakened immune system or living with diabetes. 

The bacteria usually finds its way into humans through cold, ready-to-eat foods such as cooked sliced meats and cured meats, smoked fish and cooked shellfish, blue veined and mould-ripened soft cheeses like camembert and brie pâté, pre-prepared sandwiches and salads, some pre-prepared fruits including melon slices, unpasteurised milk and dairy products made from unpasteurised milk, the UK National Health Services noted. 

While these are the most common sources of a listeria infection, it has also been known to spread from infected humans and close contact with farm animals. 

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