Consumers who have bought chocolate products at the supermarket and who live in Queensland may be getting the wrong products, according to the Australian Consumer Affairs Agency (ACAA).
The agency has released a new advice for consumers, warning that some products from the chocolate industry are contaminated with lead.
ACAA consumer services manager Scott Thompson said consumers should look for the label of the chocolate product.
“Some chocolate products may have been labelled as having ‘lead free’ when the actual lead content is in the ingredients,” Mr Thompson said.
“It is best to test the product for lead, as it is important to identify the risk of the product.”
“The label on some chocolate products will often have a lead warning, and the manufacturer should provide a clear indication of the risk.”
Mr Thompson said the warning should be placed on the packaging as a warning to consumers, not a warning for the consumer to skip it.
“In some cases it may not be a health risk, but consumers should be aware that there are other risks associated with consuming chocolate and this is a warning,” he said.ACAA advises consumers to only buy chocolate products from manufacturers who have been tested for lead.
“The lead content of some chocolate is much higher than the lead content in other chocolate products,” Mr Thomson said.
Mr Thompson told the ABC it was important to test all chocolate products before buying it.
He said the Australian Food Standards Agency (AFSA) did not test all the chocolate brands sold in Australia.
“When it comes to the lead, there are many, many more manufacturers than the ones that do test their products,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
“If you do not want to purchase chocolate from a manufacturer who is not tested for the lead and are not sure of the health risks associated, you should only buy products that have been proven to be safe for you.”
“If they have a product labelled as being ‘lead-free’, you should be wary of buying it.”
Mr Thomson said he hoped the warning was a step forward, but it was a reminder that consumers should also look out for the potential risk of consuming the product.
Topics:food-safety,consumer-finance,health,health-policy,healthcare-facilities,consumer,food-processing,food,federal—state-issues,business-economics-and-federal-government,foods-and/or-lifestyle,calgary-7000,qld,australiaMore stories from Queensland