Co-op recalls Easter bunnies after deadly battery found inside

Police investigate tampering

(L- R) Tammy Dundon, 26 and her daughter Sophia Wood, 3, pictured at home in Bulwell.  An angry mum says her daughter could have died after finding a battery inside a chocolate Easter bunny.  See NTI story NTIBUNNY.  The Co-op is now recalling its own-brand hollow milk chocolate Easter bunny foil figures after an alleged tampering incident in Nottingham.  The National Crime Agency has also stepped in following the scare, as the Co-op says it is a "criminal matter".  Tammy-Louise Dundon from Bulwell, Nottingham, bought one of the £1 treats from the branch in Arnold Road, Bestwood, on Saturday, for her three-year-old daughter Sophia Wood.  She says the youngster bit the ears off the rabbit, only to find a single-cell battery, similar to those found in hearing aids, inside the hollow rabbit.  It comes after a similar incident at Christmas, which resulted in chocolate Santas being recalled due to batteries being found inside the products.

The Co-op has issued an urgent recall for thousands of Easter chocolate bunnies, after discovering that one had been tampered with - with potentially fatal results.

Nottinghamshire mum Tammy-Louise Dundon bought one of the Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny figures for her three-year-old daughter Sophia last weekend, only to find a small battery inside.

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"My daughter bit the ears off and shouted 'what's this?" she tells the Nottingham Post.

"I was just like 'oh my God'. How much damage do these batteries do? I've heard kids have died from eating them. They can get stuck in the oesophagus or can be corrosive."

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The find is now being investigated by the police and the National Crime Agency.

Another 3,000 of the £1 bunnies have already been sold, and the Co-op is encouraging people who have bought one to return it to the store for a full refund, or call customer services on 0800 0686 727.

Frighteningly, it's the second time in two months that Co-op chocolate figures have been targeted.

Just before Christmas, the company recalled its hollow chocolate Santas after batteries were found in two of them. However, it said at the time that it hadn't received any blackmail threat.

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"The health and safety of our customers is uppermost in our minds. We are concerned about one incident of alleged product tampering involving our hollow milk chocolate Easter bunny foil figure, which has been found to contain a small battery inside," says the company in a statement.

"This follows an incident at Christmas when two similar products were targeted and contaminated."

While the batteries are tiny, they could cause severe problems - and even death - if swallowed, thanks to the harsh chemicals inside. Last year, a two-year-old died after swallowing a similar battery.

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Product tampering of this sort usually happens as part of a blackmail attempt. Last September, for example, chemistry graduate David Ward was jailed for seven years after telling one supermarket that he'd contaminated products with cyanide - and demanding £2 million not to go through with his plan.

There's no information as to whether the Co-op has received a blackmail threat this time round.

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