Néstle recall roll-ups over metal fears

Nestlé Australia today announced the immediate recall of certain batches of Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups due to the possible presence of small metal fragments.

The affected products are being recalled because an ingredient supplier has advised Nestlé that equipment failure in their facility has led to the possible presence of small metal fragments in an ingredient supplied to Nestlé used to manufacture the products.

The products being recalled are:

Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups Passionfruit, Rainbow Berry,  Rainbow Fruit Salad and Funprints Strawberry, all of which were produced between 29th June and 14th July.

General Manager Snacks, Susan Catania, said these batches have been sold in major, independent and online retailers since early December.

READ MORE: Barcode trial promises to cut product recalls

“If you have purchased any of these products, please do not consume it, but return it to the place of purchase for a full refund,” Catania said.

Catania confirmed that other batches and products are not affected, and that Nestlé had not received any complaints from consumers regarding metal in Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups.

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue we made contact with authorities to conduct a recall and notified all relevant retailers,” Ms Catania said.

Food products containing foreign matter may cause illness or injury to consumers. Anyone who is concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

Consumers seeking more information can contact Nestlé on 1800 152 126

What happens when you need to withdraw your product?

For a small-to-medium food manufacturer, a deal to supply one of the major supermarket chains can be a turning point that will underpin their business’ growth for years to come.

But with the increased product supply comes increased risk, including the heightened risk of product recalls and withdrawals.

The cost of recalls and withdrawals can run to the hundreds of thousands of dollars and is a risk that suppliers can mitigate with the right insurance cover.

Steps in a recall
Once the food manufacturer hears there is a problem – perhaps from their own testing or from a call from a consumer or an ingredient supplier – they contact the supermarkets and establish if a recall or a withdrawal is required. In both incidents, their product is removed from the shelves.

The supermarket will also remove any product they have out the back and then dispose of it so there is no chance the product is inadvertently put back on the shelves. If the product is subject to a food safety issue and requires a formal product recall, the supermarket will also put a notice on the shelf telling consumers the product is the subject of a recall and is unavailable.

Mounting costs
Each store levies the food manufacturer with an administration charge, which can be upwards of $70. Because each supermarket chain has many hundreds of stores, recall and withdrawal costs can quickly add up to six figures, said Derham Daymond, the national liability manager at Crawford & Company, which manages claims on behalf of insurance companies.

In the event of a recall, a supermarket may need to be contacted out of hours – and they typically charge a higher fee for this – and the manufacturer or importer will also have to take out newspaper advertisements to alert the public to the danger. This cost can run anywhere between $30,000 to $40,000 as well as several thousand dollars to produce the advertisement.

Protection with insurance cover
While insurance is available to help mitigate the costs of a product recall, not many insurers also have coverage for product withdrawals. It’s worth checking your policy.

This can leave food manufacturers vulnerable to the damage a withdrawal can do to their business. Instead of a supermarket supply deal underpinning the growth of a business, an uninsured withdrawal can put the future of the business in doubt.

Liberty’s Food & Beverage Insurance Policy is a recall cover specifically tailored for the food and beverage industry. Designed to address both product recalls and withdrawals, it protects manufacturers from the risk of contamination, which leads to a recall and also the need to withdraw their product due to a manufacturing error or quality control issue that is not a threat to public safety.

It’s worth talking to your insurance broker to make sure you have the cover your business needs.

Snickers recalled as plastics found in chocolate bars

Mars, one of the world's biggest food companies, has recalled chocolate bars and other products in 55 countries after a piece of plastic was found in a Snickers bar in Germany, according to a Reuters report.

All of the recalled products, which include Mars, Snickers and Milky Way bars, were manufactured at a Dutch factory in Veghel, a Mars spokeswoman said on Tuesday. They were sold in European countries including Germany, France and Britain, and in certain countries in Asia.

"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."

It was not immediately clear how much the complex recall would cost the company, which is unlisted and therefore does not disclose detailed financial information. The spokeswoman declined to comment on financial implications of the recall, which is the first to affect the factory.

Mars Netherlands said it was working closely with the Dutch food safety authority on the matter, according to a statement.

The recall affected all Mars and Snickers products, Milky Way Minis and Miniatures as well as certain kinds of Celebrations confectionery boxes with best-before dates ranging from June 19, 2016 to Jan. 8, 2017. Those dates may not be the same in other countries, the spokeswoman said.