The Co-op supermarket has announced it is recalling chocolate santas after batteriess were found inside two of the festive treats. The retailer says that there have been what it believes are “tampering incidents” involving the chocolate figures, which have sold for £1.
Both the police and the Food Standards Agency have been informed and customers who have bought the items are being urged to return them. The retailer says it has sold 165,000 of the santas, which were made in Germany. The items are also available from other shops and consumers are being urged not to eat them.
Batteries were found in two santas, in two different locations which were miles apart. In a statement, the Co-op said that the health and safety of its customers was always its number one priority.
The statement added: “We are concerned about two separate instances of alleged product tampering involving our hollow milk chocolate Santa foil figures, which have been found to contain a small battery inside.”
Consumers are being asked to call the Co-op’s customer relations team on 0800 0686 727 if they have purchased one of the santas. It is not clear what kind of battery was inside the two products known to be affected, or what the motive could have been for tampering with the chocolates. The Co-op has said that it has not received any blackmail threat following the insertion of the batteries.
The recall follows warnings from medics about the dangers of swallowing batteries over the festive season. Two doctors in the Lancashire area have issued a warning about batteries after two deaths in the North West in the last two years, including one on Blackpool, as well as two cases when children suffering life changing injuries. Children have been so badly burned by swallowing batteries that they have needed reconstructive surgery to repair their oesophagus and gullet.