Some chocolate bars from a shipment recalled by the American company Mars found their way into Lithuanian shops, the company's representatives said on Wednesday, retracting earlier claims that no possibly unsafe products were on the market. Lithuania's food regulation authority says it is investigating the company for misleading consumers.
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US chocolate maker Mars said on Tuesday it was recalling candy bars and other items in 55 countries in Europe and elsewhere after plastic was found in one of its products. The affected production was traced back to a single Mars factory in the Netherlands.

Mars Lithuania initially said that some of the affected products were intended for the Lithuanian market, but had not reached outlets yet.

"After a thorough investigation, it appears that some chocolate bars recalled by Mars have left the warehouses, which means buyers in Lithuania could have purchased Snickers bars produced in the Netherlands," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mars Lietuva said on Wednesday it was recalling Snickers chocolates with expiration dates between July 10 and August 14, 2016.

Mindaugas Rupšys, corporate head for Mars Lietuva, says the company has yet to calculate the losses it will sustain due to the recall. The primary focus is on safety and efficient communication, he said.

Mars, head-quartered in the US, has recalled Mars, Snickers and Milky Way chocolate bars produced in its Netherlands-based factory after a piece of plastic was found in one of the products in Germany. The company said it could lead to choking.

Misleading customers

The State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT) of Lithuania said it had inspected Mars warehouses and found that about 17 tonnes of possibly affected products had been shipped to shops across the country.

The service says that Mars Lietuva misled consumers by initially stating that there were no unsafe products on the market.

"Mars Lietuva spokespeople acted unfairly and irresponsibly when they misled Lithuanian consumers. I want to stress that an investigation continues and strict administrative sanctions and restrictions on market access will be used for distributing possibly unsafe chocolates," VMVT deputy head Daiva Švelnienė said in a statement.

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