After a small piece of red plastic was found in one SNICKERS bar purchased in Germany, Mars has made a precautionary decision to voluntarily recall a selection of products manufactured in its Netherlands factory.
“We believe this is an isolated incident,” a Mars spokeswoman said.
The recall concerns only specific products that were manufactured at the Netherlands facility during a limited production period, December 5, 2015 - January 18, 2016.
While the number of Mars products affected is limited, affecting SNICKERS, MARS, MILKY WAY and CELEBRATIONS brands, they have been shipped to numerous countries outside the Netherlands, including some duty free retailers, the company said. As a precaution, the product recall is being implemented in all markets served by the Netherlands facility.
Only certain products labeled on pack as "Mars Netherlands" are affected by this recall. Mars Netherlands exports to a number of countries and some duty-free outlets, so the company advises that the easiest way for consumers to determine whether they have a product that has been recalled is to look at the label. If it is not labeled "Mars Netherlands," it is not included in the recall.
Countries affected include nearly all in Europe as well as several in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Consumers who have questions are advised to contact the local Mars Consumer Care representative.
According to a report in the New York Times, the recall stems from a Jan. 8 complaint from a consumer in Germany who found red plastic in a SNICKERS bar and sent it back to the company. The article also indicated that this was the first recall to affect the Mars Netherland facility, which employs about 1,200 people.
“Whilst there will be a noticeable decrease in sales due to reduced stock listings in the short-term, any Mars decline is likely to be temporary and less steep than many people believe,” says Jack Skelly, analyst – food, Euromonitor International. “Barring any more troublesome revelations, Mars has quickly and effectively nipped this in the bud. The company’s reputation is damaged, yes, but consumers tend to have a fuzzy memory with regards to these high-profile scandals; another food scandal will come along and Mars will no longer be at the forefront of public attention. In the long-term — and somewhat less glamorously — I think this will impact the logistical side of the business a lot more.”