mars chocolate bar, chocolate bar, mars barPhoto: 123rf.com

Mars chocolate bar recall

Why: After a customer found a piece of plastic in a Snickers bar bought on Jan 8 in Germany, the confectionary giant issued a voluntary recall on Mars and Snickers bars. Although the affected products are mainly sold in Europe, AVA issued a recall of the products which are manufactured in the Netherlands and have expiry dates between October and next January. The affected products were manufactured between Dec 5, 2015, and Jan 18, 2016

How it affects you: Pieces of plastic in food presents a choking hazard. When ingested, the additives in the plastic may be toxic to your body.

Wash N Toss salad

Why: Prepackaged salad from Australian brand Wash N Toss were recalled amid concerns of salmonella contamination. Certain selected batches of prepackaged Woolworths, Wash N Toss, Coles, Supa Salad and Clear Film brands of salad leaves were also recalled.

How it affects you: Salmonella poisoning is a type of food poisoning caused by a bacteria. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramping. Young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of catching the infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and treatment is not required unless you get dehydrated from having diarrhoea.

Johnson & Johnson talcum powder

Why: A family in the US brought the healthcare conglomerate to court, claiming that their family member died from ovarian cancer after long-term use of Johnson’s baby powder and another talc-based product.

J&J had been ordered to pay US$72 million (S$101 million) to the family in damages. It is also facing some 1,200 other lawsuits claiming that studies have linked the use of its products to cancer, and that even though the company knew of this risk, but still failed to warn consumers about it.

How it affects you: Although the claims that long-term use of J&J products causes ovarian cancer have yet to be proven, some consumers might stop using or reduce use of the affected products. 

Yusheng (raw fish dish)

Why: A surge in the number of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections earlier in 2015 was linked to the consumption of raw fish. The National Environment Agency (NEA) banned raw freshwater fish dishes made from Song fish, or Asian bighead carp, and Toman fish, also called snakehead, in food stalls. This include hawker centres, coffee shops, canteens and food courts. Caterers were also ordered to stop the sale of all raw saltwater fish until they got an official go-ahead from NEA. Restaurants could continue to sell raw saltwater fish, which includes salmon, because of their perceived higher hygiene standards and the sources they get the meat from.

How it affects you: GBS is a bacteria commonly found in our gut and urinary tract. It mainly affects newborn babies, the elderly and people with weakened immune system. Although it rarely causes infections of the skin, joints, heart and brain, a 52-year-old man fell critically ill after eating a raw fish dish. Another 50-year-old man even had to have his leg amputated.