Metal Pieces Found Embedded in Lollipops

February 19, 2008

What appeared to be a metal staple was found in a lollipop at a Florida elementary school, a day after a woman reported a blade-like piece of metal in another bag of the same product, made in China. It has been pulled from the shelves of thousands of stores across the country.

Sherwood Brands of Maryland, which imports the candy from China, said it was recalling all of its Pokemon Valentine Cards and Pops, which have been pulled from the shelves of thousands of stores across the country.

Roughly 20 lollipops were seized at an elementary school in Lakeland, Fla. X-rays determined that only one piece definitely had metal – what appeared to be a staple – baked inside, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said on Feb. 14.

On Feb. 13, Lisa Potter in nearby Mulberry, Fla., told authorities she found a lollipop with a piece of metal in it in a bag of the same product. The metal appeared to be part of a razor blade, authorities said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office issued a safety advisory and the Dollar Store chain removed the product, sold in bags of 10, from its more than 8,000 stores nationwide. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating.

Judd said the two tainted lollipops were purchased from different Dollar General stores in the area. He said the lollipops did not appear to be tampered with and it appeared the metal was baked into the candy in China, where it was produced.

No injuries have been reported and it was unclear whether the metal was intentionally placed in the candy.

The sheriff’s office said Sherwood Brands was cooperating. The importer did not return calls seeking comment last week but announced the recall in a statement.

China’s reputation as an exporter has taken a beating in the past year following the discovery of dangerous chemicals in products from toothpaste to toys. Last year it announced a series of measures to boost product supervision.

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