Food Standards Agency issues warning over fake Wonka bars for sale this Christmas

Wonka Bars, manufactured by Ferrero, have been popular with UK retailers, but warnings over fakes have been issued by the FSA. Pic: Shutterstock

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a warning to the public not to buy or eat fake ‘Wonka Bars’ or ‘Prime’ chocolate bars for safety reasons, in the wake of major concerns raised over illegitimate products being sold in regional markets, reports Neill Barston.

According to the authority, it had received reports of unlicensed chocolate product ranges being placed for sale in a Nottinghamshire market, representing a potential health threat to consumers, as well as being totally fraudulent.

The Wonka brand has become popular with British retailers, with Ferrero acquiring it from Nestle, and enjoying success with the series, which has also gained a further boost with the new Wonka movie starring Timothee Chalamet, who recently starred in Dune, and Hugh Grant.

As the FSA noted, fake branded chocolate bars may be unsafe to eat, as there is a possibility that they are being made or repackaged by unregistered businesses or by criminals who will not be following hygiene, labelling and traceability laws.

Last year, fake Wonka Bars were removed from sale after having been found to contain allergens which weren’t listed on the label, posing a major health risk to anyone who suffers from a food allergy or intolerance.

The Food Standards Agency is continuing to work with partners to protect the public. Letters have been sent to local authorities responsible for investigating and enforcing food law to advise them to be extra vigilant and remove any fake products from sale where there is a known or suspected public health risk.

As the FSA noted, buying from a reputable seller means you’re less likely to fall for a fake. If in doubt, ask the seller for more information about what you are buying, or perhaps leave it on the shelf. As it noted, If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Check out sellers on your high street, your local market, as well as using the FSA’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website.

Tina Potter, Head of Incidents – Food Standards Agency, said: “With Christmas coming up, don’t waste your money on fake branded chocolate for your children, friends or family – you won’t be getting what you think you are paying for and you don’t know what is in them. There could be a food safety risk, especially for those with food intolerances or allergies.

“We know there is a problem with potentially unsafe fake chocolate bars such as Wonka and Prime bars and we’re working with Trading Standards to protect consumers. Please do not buy or eat these bars and if you think you’ve bought a fake chocolate bar, or if you see something that does not seem right when you are shopping, report it to your Local Authority.”

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