Russell Stover Chocolates Recalled Due to Health Concerns, FDA Warns
A third-party packaging company reportedly caused the issue.
Spring is right around the corner, meaning many of us will be loading up on sweet treats for upcoming festivities. Dating all the way back to 1923, Russell Stover is one of those mainstay chocolate brands that you probably know and love and would reach for without thinking twice. But if you've already started collecting goodies for your Easter basket, you'll want to double-check and see if a certain Russell Stover sweet ended up in your stockpile. Read on to find out which products are now subject to recall and why.
Peanut butter cups have been pulled.
According to a Feb. 28 recall notice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Russell Stover Chocolates (based in Kansas City, Missouri) is voluntarily recalling some of its Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups. The chocolate candies were sold in 2.4-ounce plastic bags and distributed to wholesale and retail stores across the country.
Affected products had Best Before dates of May 1, 2023 and June 1, 2023, and a Universal Product Code (UPC) of 077260096937. Affected lot codes include K0521, K0321, K0421, L2122, L2221, and L2321. All of this information can be found on the back of the candy's packaging.
The recall was initiated due to a packaging error.
The sugar-free peanut butter cups are being recalled due to the potential presence of undeclared pecans, per the FDA notice. Russell Stover initiated the recall after consumers reached out and said they received the wrong product in the packaging of the peanut butter cups.
"An error by the firm's 3rd party co-packing company resulted in individually-wrapped Sugar Free Pecan Delight products being placed in the outer packaging for Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups," the recall notice states. "The inner packaging correctly identifies the products as Sugar Free Pecan Delights and the physical Sugar Free Pecan Delight product appears distinct from the Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cup product."
The agency states that those with allergies or severe sensitivity to the tree nut "run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products." According to Medical News Today, symptoms of an allergic reactions to tree nuts range from mild to severe. People can experience anything from a runny nose and coughing to throat swelling and shortness of breath if they consume a tree nut like pecans.
If you purchased this product, you can get a replacement or a voucher.
To date, Russell Stover hasn't received any reports of illness or allergic reactions, according to the FDA.
However, if you did purchase this product, you can contact Russell Stover Chocolates to receive a voucher or a replacement. Reach out to the company directly by using the company's Contact Us Form, emailing [email protected], or calling 1-800-477-8683 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST).
These aren't the only sweet treats recently subject to recall.
Earlier this month, Illinois-based Silvestri Sweets Inc. also recalled chocolates sold at Target stores nationwide, the FDA announced on Feb. 16. The Favorite Day branded Valentine's Milk Chocolate Covered Caramels with Nonpareils were pulled after it was discovered that they, too, potentially had an undeclared pecan allergen. The FDA notice states that anyone with a tree nut allergy, including chestnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, and cashews, could be in danger if they eat the chocolates.
Similar to the Russell Stover recall, Silvestri Sweets learned that the problem might have been due to "a temporary breakdown in the company's production and packaging process."
In order to secure a refund, consumers were "urged to call Target Guest Relations" at 1-800-440-0680 if they purchased this product. The phone lines are operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Chukar Cherry Company also recalled a limited quantity of its Cherry Bombs due to potential presence of hazelnuts, yet another tree nut. According to the Feb. 21 FDA notice, those with tree nut allergies or sensitivities could have a "life-threatening allergic reaction" if they eat the cherry confection product. The cherry bombs were sold exclusively in Prosser and Seattle, Washington, in Chukar Cherry Company stores.
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/russell-stover-chocolates-issues-allergy-alert-undeclared-pecan-sugar-free-peanut-butter-cups
- Source: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/silvestri-sweets-issues-voluntary-allergy-alert-undeclared-pecan-milk-chocolate-caramels