Canadian consumers are being warned against eating a popular chocolate bar due to an undeclared allergen. On June 23, Crave Stevia brand's All Natural Dark Chocolate was recalled and began to be pulled from store shelves. The recall was issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after it was determined the chocolate bars may contain milk, which was not declared on the label of the product.
The affected product was sold in 85-gram packages with a best before the date of Sept. 2023, according to a CFIA recall notice. The chocolate bar has a UPC code of "8 84063 00085 2." The recalled chocolate was sold in British Columbia and Ontario and may have been distributed nationally. It was also sold online. Although only a single product is listed in the recall, the CFIA said it is "conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products." At this time, however, no further products have been added to the recall.
The recall was initiated after CFIA test results found the chocolate bars may contain milk, which was not declared on the label. This means the bars pose a potentially severe health risk for those with a milk intolerance or milk allergy, which is the third most common food, after peanuts and tree nuts, to cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that narrows the airways and can block breathing. Milk allergy is also one of the most common food allergies in children, according to the Mayo Clinic. Signs of symptoms of a milk allergy, which occur a few minutes to a few hours after consumption of milk or a milk product, can range from mild to severe and may include wheezing, vomiting, hives and digestive problems. The CFIA said, "there have been no reported reactions associated with the consumption of this product."
Amid the recall, consumers should check their purchases to see if they have purchased the recalled Crave Stevia brand's All Natural Dark Chocolate. If they have purchased the recalled chocolate bar, the CFIA has advised consumers not to eat the product if they are intolerant or allergic to milk, as the chocolate bars "may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction." The products also should not be sold, served, or distributed. Consumers can return the recalled chocolate bars to the location where they were purchased. The CFIA also confirmed that it is "verifying that industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace."