Mars, one of the world’s largest food manufacturers, is working through a major recall of five of its prominent candy brands—an event that may cost the company “tens of millions” of dollars according to comments made to the Financial Times (paywall).
The recall was sparked after a piece of red plastic (part of a protective cover) was found embedded in a Snickers bar. The company traced the plastic back to a Veghel, Netherlands plant that manufactured impacted candy products sometime between December 2015 and January 2016. The company is recalling products that say “Mars Netherlands” on the packaging.
Initially, the company said the products—Snickers, Milky Ways, Mars, Celebrations and Mini Mix—were shipped only to 55 countries, mostly in Europe. That has since changed, according to a statement:
While the number of Mars products affected is limited, they have been shipped to numerous countries outside the Netherlands, including some duty free retailers.
It’s the duty free retailers—commonly located at train stations, airports and seaports—that make the situation particularly unwieldy, potentially exposing the tainted products to global travelers.
Mars is one of the world’s largest private companies and does not publicly release its earnings. Forbes reported the company had about $33 billion in sales in 2015.