Russell Stover Chocolates Issues Recall

Those snacking on Valentine's Day candy or getting ready to fill Easter baskets may have to get their peanut butter cups elsewhere. On Feb. 28, Russell Stover Chocolates issued a voluntary recall for its Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cups after the company received multiple consumer reports of the recalled chocolates containing pecans, an ingredient that is not on the label.

The recall affects two "best before" dates of Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cups, which are packaged in a 2.4 oz plastic bag. According to a notice shared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), only products with Best Before dates of 01MAY23 and 01JUN23 and UPC of 077260096937 are affected. Lot codes K0521, K0321, K0421, L2122, L2221, and L2321 are included in the recall. The recalled Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cups were distributed nationwide to wholesale and retail stores. The lot code and "best before" date can be found on the back of the product packaging, below the UPC, and an image of the recalled peanut butter cups can be found here.

The recall was initiated due to an undeclared allergen. After Russell Stover Chocolates consumer contacts regarding the wrong product inside the outer packaging, it was discovered that an error by the company's third-party co-packing company "resulted in individually-wrapped Sugar-Free Pecan Delight products being placed in the outer packaging for Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cups." While the inner packaging correctly identifies the products as Sugar-Free Pecan Delights and the physical Sugar Free Pecan Delight product appears distinct from the Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cup product, the allergen is not declared on the outer label.

Pecans are a tree nut, which is one of the most common food allergies in both children and adults. Allergic reactions to tree nuts can range from mild to life-threatening and may appear within a few minutes or up to 30 minutes after exposure, according to Healthline. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, trouble swallowing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, and itching of the mouth, throat, skin, eyes, hands, or other body regions, among others. Tree nut allergies, along with peanut and shellfish allergies, are among the most common causes of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that narrows the airways and can block breathing.

Due to the health risk the product poses to some consumers, customers who purchased the recalled peanut butter cups should contact Russell Stover Chocolates directly for a voucher or a replacement product. There have not been any reports of illness or allergic reactions, according to Russell Stover.