A criminal investigation has been launched after a second chocolate product has been withdrawn for sale amid allegations that a potentially deadly small battery has been found inside.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) warned that the Co-op's hollow milk chocolate rabbit had allegedly been found to contain a tiny battery, which if swallowed, could cause serious internal injuries, or possibly, death.
This is the second time a Co-op chocolate product has been found to have been allegedly tampered with after a batch of hollow chocolate santas were taken off the shelves by Food Standards chiefs just weeks ago. The foil-wrapped santa was thought to have been manufactured at a facility in Germany.
The Co-op said: "An alleged product tampering has been reported with the item containing a small battery which could pose a risk if eaten. As a precaution customers are requested not to consume the product and should return the product to store for a full refund."
Local media in Nottingham reported that the potential tampering had been discovered by Tammy-Louise Dundon, from Bulwell in Nottinghamshire, who bought one of the bunnies for her three-year-old daughter, Sophia Wood.
She said: "“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.”
It is understood that the National Crime Agency, which deals with food tampering, and police forces, are helping with the investigation.
Around 3,000 units of the product, which costs £1, have been sold nationwide.
The FSA said: "If you have bought the product do not eat it. Instead, return it to a Co-op store for a full refund."
Last month, Thorntons also recalled a chocolate santa product amid fears that there could be pieces of plastic inside. The company said the incidents were not connected.