Analysis finds undeclared hazelnut in fake Wonka Bar
A business owner from Huddersfield, who’s been trading in Barnsley, has pleaded guilty for selling counterfeit products with incorrect labelling and allergy advice.
Nathan Bennett, 33, of Leeds Road, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty at Barnsley Magistrates Court on Monday 4 April 2022 to Food Safety, Labelling and Trademarks charges. The case was adjourned until Tuesday 26 April to allow for the completion of pre-sentencing reports.
In August 2021, following a complaint from a member of the public, a Trading Standards Officer visited his premises in the Alhambra Centre in Barnsley and got a sample of what appeared to be a counterfeit Wonka Bar.
The sample was submitted to Public Analyst Dr Duncan Campbell for analysis. Commenting on the sample he said “The label wrapping the bar looked as though it had been printed on a home printer and included an ingredients list but no manufacturer’s name or durability indication. The chocolate was identical in appearance to one made for a well-known German retailer with hazelnut paste as a minor ingredient. Two squares of chocolate from the sample contained enough hazelnut protein to cause symptoms such as swelling of the lips or bronchoconstriction in 10 % of hazelnut allergy sufferers.
“Without the appropriate allergy labelling the sample was unsafe and did not comply with food safety requirements.”
Although Bennett claimed to have only sold the Wonka Bars for two weeks and that he did not know that what he was doing was an offence the evidence presented by Barnsley Council demonstrated that he had been selling Wonka Bars since at least 2019 at another kiosk in Huddersfield.
He had also been given advice on food allergen labelling on at least six occasions in other areas and prosecuted previously for selling Wonka Bars in similar circumstances in North East Lincolnshire in 2016.
The Food Standards Agency have issued a warning to consumers about the risks posed by counterfeit Wonka Bars
Genuine Wonka bars were originally manufactured by Swiss food giant Nestle – but were discontinued more than a decade ago because sales were poor. The brand is now owned by Ferrero Rocher, which was acquired it from Nestle in 2018, but it does not currently sell Wonka products.