Customers are being warned to check their fridges for yoghurts which may be contaminated with a potentially deadly bacteria.
Six popular Cadbury’s chocolate yoghurt products were recalled over the bank holiday weekend because of the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes.
The items are the Daim, Dairy Milk Buttons, and Dairy Milk Chunks chocolate desserts with a use-by date of May 18, Crunchie and Flake chocolate desserts with a use-by date of May 17, and a six-pack of Cadbury Heroes chocolate desserts with a use-by date of May 18.
“Müller has taken the precautionary step of recalling some batches of various Cadbury branded dessert products because of the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes,” the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said in a food alert issued late Monday night.
Symptoms of a listeria infection are normally mild and flu-like but can be more serious, and potentially life-threatening, in more vulnerable individuals.
A fever, chills and muscle aches are common signs of infections, as are sickness and diarrhoea.
Over 65s, pregnant women and their unborn babies, babies less than one-month-old and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to listeria infections.
Cases of listeria infection have been found in soft cheeses, raw fish and some dairy products so far this year. One person died after eating a Baronet semi-soft cheese.
Listeriosis is a form of food poisoning caused by the bacterium, and most people who are affected get mild gastroenteritis which subsides in a few days.
The FSA has said people with affected batches, which may be contaminated, should not eat them and return them to the store they purchased the items from for a full refund, with or without a receipt.
The cause of the potential listeria outbreak remains unknown, with Muller saying “extensive investigation” is ongoing to determine if the bacteria came from the milk or occurred during production and packaging.
The FSA and Cadbury has been contacted for comment.
A spokesperson from Muller UK & Ireland told The Telegraph: “Müller produces these products under license from Mondelez International and has stressed that this does not impact any other products it produces in the UK or other markets.
“The business has informed the Food Standards Agency of this action and they have issued a Product Information Recall Notice.”
Prof Catherine Rees, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Nottingham, said that identifying Listeria monocytogenes contamination is technically difficult and as a result, companies tend to err on the side of caution.
“On a precautionary principle – manufacturers would rather recall products if there is a chance that Listeria monocytogenes might be in the product rather than waiting until they are certain,” she said.
“Given that we eat a large amount of ready-to-eat foods every year, many of which are high risk for listeria, and yet confirmed cases in the country are very low, then it shows that generally the monitoring system is working and keeping the public
It comes after an investigation by Farmers Weekly alleged that “rotting” pork was mixed with fresh meat before it was processed and may have unwittingly sold to supermarkets for years.
And in March, customers were warned not to eat Baronet cheese after a listeria outbreak caused the death of a patient.