TikTok video of worms in Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate goes viral

The Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar has a best before date of October 26, 2022.

A TikTok video showing a Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar infested with worms has gone viral on TikTok and is now widely shared on other social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.

In the video, a man is heard speaking in Tamil, asking people not to give this chocolate bar to their children without first opening and inspecting it. He said he was shocked to find the worms in a Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar and made the video to raise awareness about these chocolates.

In the video, he points out that the best before date on the chocolate bar is October 26, 2022.

It is not known where the video was taken. But the controversy over worms in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates has surfaced from time to time since 2003.

In 2003, a month before Deepavali, customers in Mumbai, India complained of finding worms in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates. The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration reacted quickly and seized those made at Cadbury’s factory in Pune.

Cadbury quickly released a statement saying the infestation could not have happened at the manufacturing stage and poor storage at retailers was the most likely cause.

But the FDA would have none of that. He asked: “It was presumed that worms got into it from storage, but what about the packaging – the packaging was not suitable or airtight, in either case, it is a manufacturing defect with unsanitary conditions or improper packaging.”

Allegations and counter-allegations followed and the heat of the negative publicity melted Cadbury’s sales by 30%, at a time when it typically sees a festive peak of 15%. Following the controversy, Cadbury halted on-air advertising in India for the first time ever and remained for a month and a half after Deepavali. Consumers seemed to ignore their chocolate cravings.

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Once Cadbury realized it was a brand under fire and in October 2003 launched Project Vishwa’s, an educational initiative covering 190,000 retailers in key states. But what the company did in January 2004 is what really helped deworm the brand.

It invested more than $2.7 million in imported machinery and revamped the packaging process, which increased costs by 10-15%, but did not increase prices.

Cadbury’s India said at the time: “While we are talking about a few bars out of the 30 million we sell each month, we believe that to be a responsible business consumers need to have complete confidence in the products. So while this requires substantial investment and change, consumer confidence must not be allowed to erode.

He also tapped Amitabh Bachchan as a brand ambassador to do a heavy endorsement. But even that didn’t put the issue to bed for good.

In 2017, a contributor to a site called Linus Tech Tips again raised the issue of worms. One commenter replied: ‘A business that sells chocolate bars with worms shouldn’t continue to operate, and if a child who didn’t know ate that, Cadbury is ridiculous.’

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Then in 2021, a Sydney woman vowed never to eat chocolate again after biting into a Cadbury bar and finding dozens of wriggling maggots inside. The woman said she and a friend were watching a movie in her living room with the lights off when she noticed something moving under her nose.

They had bought a pack of 12 Cadbury’s Milky Top Freddo bars – half white chocolate and half milk chocolate in the shape of a frog – from a local store.

When the white chocolate part was, for a second, illuminated by the light from the television screen, she saw “this thing move”. She was horrified because she had already eaten half the chocolate and thought she had swallowed at least one maggot.

When they looked closer they found maggots inside the wrapper and the woman said the block was covered in a thin layer of ‘little babies and eggs and stuff’ . It happened at the end of April last year, she said, but frustrated by Cadbury’s response they shared the photos online in May.

She said when they complained to Cadbury they were offered a AU$25 voucher. She said, “We’re not asking for a free chocolate, we want an explanation. They (Cadbury) were so rude about the whole thing. I wanted an explanation for being able to eat chocolate again, like telling us it was one in a million.

Respond to reports, Cadbury has apologized to customers affected by the worm-infested chocolates. It said:

“We are sorry to learn of the (women’s) experience. Our dedicated teams work hard to ensure that our products are in the best possible condition when enjoyed by our consumers. From the photos, it appears that warehouse or flour moths have entered the product in storage.

“These insects are common around the world and can gain access to a range of different food products, including dried fruit, nuts, pasta and bread, without visibly damaging the packaging.

“We have implemented a series of measures in our distribution centers to minimize the risk of these common insects entering our packaging, and are working closely with stores and transport companies to help them maintain an environment that minimizes the risk. However, on this occasion, it appears that the product has been affected during transport or storage.

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