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    Feb 26, 2016

    DFS dumps Mars chocolate goods amid AVA recall

    A DUTY-FREE store here has removed three types of Mars chocolate products from its shelves amid a global scare after a customer in Germany found a piece of red plastic in a Snickers bar last month.

    DFS, which has outlets at Changi Airport and Orchard Road, said it pulled Mars Minis, Celebrations and Mini Variety packs following a precautionary recall from the chocolate-maker on Tuesday.

    The affected products were made in the Netherlands and have expiry dates between October this year and next January.

    The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) issued a recall of Dutch-made Mars products on Wednesday night, and warned the public not to eat them. It is not known how many stores here stock the affected items, which were made between Dec 5 last year and Jan 18.

    Mars announced a recall on Tuesday, deeming millions of chocolate bars, including Snickers and Milky Way, to be possibly unsafe for eating in 55 countries.

    Supermarkets Fairprice and Cold Storage said they do not carry the affected products.

    However, suppliers and retailers who get their stock from third-party importers may carry the Dutch-made confectionery.

    Among them are Radha Exports, which supplies to ABC Bargain Centre and ValuDollar shop, and Walson Food Distributor, which does business with several hotels and cafes. Both companies said their products were not among those affected.

    Items brought in by Mars' distributor here, DKSH Singapore, are imported from China, Australia and the United States.

    Jorgen Schlundt, a food-safety expert at Nanyang Technological University's School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, said plastic in food may lead to choking. But he added: "Such incidents are generally not as serious as cases of microbiological or chemical contamination of food."

    But William Chen, director of NTU's food science and technology programme, warned that additives found in many plastic materials, including food packaging, are toxic to the body. "In addition, decomposed components from plastic materials also have adverse effects on our body," he said.