The health ministry said on Wednesday it had received notification from the Mars factory in the Netherlands with the complete list of products being recalled as a preventative measure after a choking hazard scare prompted a withdrawal in 55 countries.
The ministry said it had informed the official Mars representative in Cyprus, with instructions for immediate recall of the listed products from the market. It would also be carrying out checks to make sure they were withdrawn, the ministry said.
“But because there are concerns that the products are in the possession of consumers, the public is advised to avoid consuming them and return them to retailers,” it added.
An announcement from Mars representatives in Cyprus later on Wednesday narrowed down the list of products as follows:
MARS 51g, batch number 550A3NLD03 with an expiry date of Septemer 9, 2016
MARS 51g, batch number 553D1NLD03 with an expiry date of September 25, 2016
MARS MINIS 130g packs, batch number 553B2NLD06 with an expiry date of September 25, 2016
SNICKERS 50g, batch number 551B1NLD03 with an expiry date of 17, July, 2016
SNICKERS MINI 130g pack, batch number 553C3NLD06 with an expiry date of July 31, 2016
MARS MIXED MINIS 500g pack, batch number 551A91HC11 with an expiry date of July 17, 2016
SNICKERS MINI 227g CELEBRATIONS box, batch number 551 with an expiry date of July 17, 2016
“The preventive recall, concerns only specific products produced at the Netherlands facility, during a small period, from December 5, 2015 to January 18, 2016, bearing the ‘Mars Netherlands’ label,” the announcement said.
Consumers in possession of the products can contact the local points of purchase or send an e-mail with their questions regarding the issue at [email protected]
“The company is in constant collaboration with the country’s health services and is taking all necessary measures for the protection of the consumers,” the announcement added. It said the sweets had also been removed from the airports.
The head of the state health services Albertos Karis told state broadcaster CyBC earlier in the day that 12 crews were performing controls in shops in all districts.
He said hundreds of the recall chocolates had been removed from shop shelves, all of which had come through the official representatives of Mars in Cyprus.
Health officials, Karis said, had also found on the market Mars chocolates imported by other companies to Cyprus. “But that they are not among the recall products since they were manufactured in Poland, the UK and other EU countries and not the Netherlands,” he said.
Karis urged members of the public to avoid consuming Mars products from that country specifically.
Mars Inc on Tuesday recalled chocolate bars and other products in 55 countries, mainly in Europe, due to the choking risk after a piece of plastic was found in a Snickers bar in Germany.
All of the recalled products were manufactured at the Dutch factory in Veghel, a Mars spokeswoman said. They were sold in all European countries and in certain countries in Asia.
The recall, in effect since Monday, follows a January 8 complaint from a consumer in Germany, she said, who found red plastic in a Snickers bar and sent it back to the company.
“We cannot be sure that this plastic was only in that particular Snickers,” a spokeswoman from Mars Netherlands said. “We do not want any products on the market that may not meet our quality requirements, so we decided to take them all back.”