Dubai officials clear Milka bars social media spreads alcohol rumours

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate

Dubai officials clear Milka bars social media spreads alcohol rumours
A simple labelling mis-translation gave rise to widespread rumours that an international chocolate brand’s formulation contained alcohol, Dubai authorities have revealed following a probe.

Their investigation came in response to angry and widespread social media rumours saying that Milka Oreo chocolate bars were not suitable for consumption by Muslims.

According to the emirate’s food inspectors, the words "chocolate liquor​", a term for cocoa paste, were translated incorrectly to "alcoholic beverages​" in Arabic on its packaging in the emirate.

After testing samples of the chocolate, Dubai Municipality officials blamed the manufacturer for the mis-translation and ordered all stocks with the offending labels to be cleared from shelves to “prevent confusion among consumers​”.

The ingredient chocolate liquor, a semi-solid cocoa paste, was translated into Arabic literally, thereby departing from its actual meaning, an official added.

DM is urging the public not to be deceived by rumours launched by some online websites and social media accounts about the specifications and components of traded food​,” the municipality announced on its Instagram account.

Dubai authorities have also confirmed that another confectionery brand is safe for consumption after a consumer reported finding a piece of red plastic in a Snickers bar bought in the emirate.

The municipality’s food safety officials said that all bars from the same batch were pulled from sale pending further investigation.

"We inspected the manufacturing plant, but the chocolate pieces were all clear. It was an individual case, and no action was taken against the company​," said Sultan Ali Al Taher, head of Dubai Municipality’s food inspection section. 

A US$40m factory manufacturers Mars brands, including Snickers, locally. 

Mars Incorporated, the brand’s parent, said it had cooperated with inspectors and conducted an investigation to identify the possible source of the foreign object. 

"We were able to retrieve the product from the complainant, and based on an analysis of the material, we can confirm that it did not originate in our factory in Dubai, where the product was made​," Mars said in the statement. 

In February, Mars recalled snickers across 55 international markets after it received complaints that red plastic had been found in the bars. Other products affected included bars of Mars, Milky Way, Celebrations and Mini Mix. 

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