Worms Crawl Out of Candy Bar
Tuesday March 26, 2002
For years Cadbury has challenged consumers to answer how it got the caramel in the Caramilk bar.
But now a Cambridge woman wants Cadbury to tell her how worms got into her Hazelnut bar.
Kelly Almas, 24, bought the 100-gram chocolate bar last week and divvied up pieces among her three daughters and her boy-friend, Jermaine Smith, 23.
Jermaine was munching on the tasty chocolate while watching a Raptors game on TV when something caught the corner of his eye.
"I stared at this thing wiggling. I said, 'It's a worm!' I ran downstairs to show Kelly and while we're looking at it another worm climbs out!"
Jermaine says he felt sick the rest of the night and can't get the thought out of his head that he may have chowed down on a bunch of worms that night.
Almas called Cadbury in Toronto to register a complaint and got angry when the company seemed blase about the incident.
"They just didn't seem at all concerned, like it was an everyday thing."
She said she was offered a box of chocolate bars but the company didn't seem interested in where she had made her purchase.
"Shouldn't it have been pulled off the shelves or something?" she wonders.
Diana Robinson, manager of public and consumer relations at Cadbury Trebor Allan in Toronto, denied the company is cavalier about worms.
"We're not blase about these things," Robinson insisted. "We take them very seriously."
She said Almas wasn't at first able to tell customer services staff where she'd bought the chocolate bar, "otherwise we'd have been down there right away to pull the chocolates off the shelves."
Robinson said the chocolate culprit is larvae of the Indian meal moth, a whitish-coloured worm that's short (a quarter-inch in length) and skinny.
"Unfortunately, it does happen," Robinson said. "I can tell you it did not happen here. We take all kinds of precautions in the factory."
Chocolate bars can sit for months before being distributed. They are vulnerable to the worms once they're placed on store shelves, especially if the bars are located anywhere near pet food, prime breeding ground for the larvae.
"Unfortunately we can't control how the product is handled after it leaves our factory," Robinson said.
By the time you read this, Cadbury will have removed the suspect chocolate bars, Robinson said.
University of Guelph entomology student Owen Lonsdale confirmed the worm is likely of the Indian moth variety.
"There are lots of records of them coming out of chocolate bars," Lonsdale said.
Kelly has revisited the variety store to alert the owner about the worms.
"Instead of taking the bars off the shelves he offered me another one. Ugh," she shuddered. "I said thanks but no thanks."