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Worms found in chocolate packet

October 03, 2003 21:48 IST

The Food and Drug Administration of Maharashtra has ordered the seizure of all Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates from the multinational giant's factory at Talegaon near Pune after worms were detected in a chocolate bar.

FDA Commissioner Uttam Khobragade told rediff.com: "A Cadbury stockist found worms coming out of Dairy Milk chocolates. He informed the manufacturer. But when they did not act on his complaint, he approached me."

Khobragade said he had crosschecked the stockist's claim and found it to be true. "I opened a Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate sealed pack this morning and found a live worm coming out."

He said the FDA is in the process of sending notices to the manufacturer.

A Cadbury spokesman, however, said the company has not yet received any FDA communication on the issue. "We would like to reiterate that Cadbury India follows stringent quality procedures," he said. "Chocolate is a food product that requires specific care and attention in manufacturing and storage. At all Cadbury plants, every manufacturing process is closely monitored by experienced technical personnel, and a quality assurance team tests finished goods before their dispatch for sale."

The spokesman said chocolates are vulnerable to infestation if they are stored near grains and cereals, or in unhygienic conditions. The company, therefore, provides retailers with storage dispensers and visicoolers to give adequate protection to its products. Additionally, every Cadbury product label mentions the care instruction: 'Store in a cool, hygienic and dry place.'

"We believe that by and large retailers follow our operating instructions and adhere to the required storage conditions," he said.

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai
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