Mass drinks recall for MARS Chocolate Drinks

Recent news has shown recalls across Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Ireland for affected drinks with Use-by dates between 19.12.2014 and 04.11.2015. Products affected include:

Sports-cap bottles:
Mars Refuel Milk (350, 376 ml);
Starburst Strawberry Drink (350 ml);
Bounty Drink (350ml);
Snickers Shake (350, 376 ml);
Skittles Wildberry Drink(376 ml);
Galaxy Smooth Milk (350, 376 ml);
Milky Way Milk (350 ml);
Mars Caramel Milk (350ml);
Skittles Fruits Drink (350, 376ml);
750ml ‘fridge pack’ bottles:
Mars Milk (750 ml);
Galaxy Smooth Milk (750ml);
Skittles Fruits Drink (750 ml).

For more information, please see HACCP Food Recalls for Europe and Ireland.

Mars drinks

So what’s behind it all?

Elevated levels of Bacillus Subtilis have been detected in some of the affected products and customers have been advised not to drink any affected product.

Bacillus subtilis bacteria are non-pathogenic, rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacteria that are naturally found in soil and vegetation and grow in the mesophilic temperature range (optimally between 25-35 Degrees Celsius). This bacteria is commonly found in the human gut in larger numbers than food consumption can account for, suggesting that is should be considered a normal gut commensal. This bacteria can contaminate food, but this seldom results in food poisoning. However, at very elevated levels Bacillus Subtilis can cause illness in severely immuno-compromised individuals.

How to reduce the risk

Processing high fat, high sugar dairy products such as these sweet drinks involves a variety of process challenges. Key among these is avoiding burn on walls through a scraped surface heat exchanger when heating the product, which discolours and alters the product taste. Secondly, pumping a highly viscous product of this sort is a challenge requiring both a pressure drop and a very powerful pump, which may require high maintenance.

The Terlotherm by Terlet is very well suited to the aseptic processing of high fat and high sugar dairy drinks. Thanks to the machine having double the heated surface area of competitor machines, the product temperature can be raised under pressure far more quickly, thus reducing the risk of burn on the walls. The Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger is powered by a bottom-driven motor, capable of moving even the most viscous of liquids, such as yeast spreads, condiments and caramel sauces.

For further information, contact Holmach on info@holmach.co.uk or 01780 749097.

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