Plastic found in chunky Kit Kats: bars recalled

Kit Kat chunky

Nestle has recalled thousands of Kit Kat Chunky Easter eggs and bars - including Chunky choc fudge, caramel, peanut butter and hazelnut. The company said it was a 'precautionary measure' after bits of plastic were found in bars in the UK.

So what has happened, and what can you do if you are affected?


Plastic contamination

The world's biggest food company has taken the move after seven consumers in the UK found small bits of plastic in Chunky bars. The plastic was thought to have broken off the moulds that the bars are made in - in a factory in Bulgaria.

No-one had been made ill from the plastic - but consumers had complained. The company said in a statement: "To avoid any risk whatsoever to our consumers, we have decided to voluntarily recall the entire production of these four Kit Kat Chunky varieties and the Kit Kat Chunky Collection Giant Egg manufactured from September 2012."

It emphasised that normal Kit Kat Chunky bars, the mint edition and normal Kit Kats were unaffected, and apologised for the mistake.


It's a major undertaking for the business, which sells them in their millions across the world - there are 150 bars of Kit Kat consumed every second.

It also raises an interesting question. Michelle Victor from the product liability team at Leigh Day said: "We would like to know when they first became aware of the problem. Did they wait for all seven consumers to come forward? Action should have been taken after only one report of plastic in these products."

However, consumers are not shocked by the incident - as recalls have been so frequent in recent months. Many took to Twitter to announce their plans not to give up their much-loved stash of the limited edition bars.

Others responded with wry amusement, including @carryonvending who said: "‪#Nestle‬ recalls Peanut Butter ‪#KitKat‬ Chunky bars as precautionary measure. I suppose it couldn't be contaminated with REAL CAT? lol."@samtcity added: "Disappointed its not for horsemeat. It's sooo hot right now ‪#kitkat‬."

What can you do?

If you have bars that are part of the recall, the company is asking you to send them back unopened for a full refund to:

PO Box 205
York, YO91 1XB

The postage will be free, but if you need help you can call 0800 604604 (from the UK) or 00800 6378 5385 from the Republic of Ireland.

The bars that are affected are:

Kit Kat chunky peanut butter (48g) Best Before Date Range: 09.2013 to 02.2014
Kit Kat chunky hazelnut (48g) Best Before Date Range: 09.2013 to 10.2013
Kit Kat chunky choc fudge (48g) Best Before Date Range: 09.2013 to 10.2013
Kit Kat chunky caramel (48g) Best Before Date Range: 06.2013 to 07.2013
Kit Kat chunky hazelnut multipack Best Before Date Range: 09.2013 to 12.2013
Kit Kat chunky collection giant egg Best Before Date: 07.2013

10 consumer rights you should know
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Plastic found in chunky Kit Kats: bars recalled

The law states that any goods you buy from a UK retailer should be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.

This applies even if you buy items in a sale or with a discount voucher. You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though.

Useful phrases to use when you want to show you mean business include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982".

Some shops will allow you to exchange goods without a receipt, but they can refuse to should they wish.

If the goods are faulty, however, another proof of purchase such as a bank statement should work just as well.

If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them.

After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.

The updated Consumer Credit Act states that card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £60,260 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount on your card).

Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.

Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.

Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.

You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.

The FOS settles disputes between financial companies such as banks and consumers.

If a financial organisation rejects a complaint you make about its services, you can therefore escalate that complaint to the FOS - as long as you have given the company in question at least eight weeks to respond.

The FOS will then investigate the case, and could force the company to offer you compensation should it see fit.

Bailiffs are allowed to take some of your belongings to sell on to cover certain debts, including unpaid Council Tax and parking fines.

They can, for example, take so-called luxury items such as TVs or games consoles. However, they cannot take essentials such as fridges or clothes.

What's more, they can only generally enter your home to take your stuff if you leave a door or window open or invite them in.

You are therefore within your rights to refuse them access and to ask for related documents such as proof of their identity. If they try to force their way in, you can also call the police to stop them.

Private sector debt collectors do not have the same powers as bailiffs, whatever they tell you.

They cannot, for example, enter your home and take your possessions in lieu of payment.

In fact, they can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about paying back the debt. As with bailiffs, you can also call the police if you feel physically threatened.

Thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations, you actually have more rights buying online or by phone than on the High Street.

You can, for example, send most goods back within a week, for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault.

You will usually need to pay for the return delivery, though. The seller must then refund you within 30 days.

We enter into contracts all the time, whether it be to join a gym, switch energy supplier or take out a loan.

In most cases, once you've signed a contract, you are legally bound by it. In some situations, however, you have the right to cancel it within a certain timeframe.

Credit agreements, for example, can be cancelled within 14 days. And online retailers must tell you about your cancellation rights for any contract made up to stand up legally.


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