Last updated on 12 March 2013

Undeclared sulphites in Montezuma’s Chocolates products

Montezuma’s Chocolates recalls various products, with 'best before' dates from 1 May to 1 November 2013, because they contain sulphites which are not mentioned on the label. The Agency has issued an Allergy Alert.

Product information

Montezuma’s Chocolates has recalled the following products:

  • Mango chutney sweets, 160g. 'Best before' date: 1 May 2013
  • Beevibe sweets, 160g. 'Best before' date: 1 May 2013
  • Supertwist boiled sweets, 160g. 'Best before' date: 1 May 2013
  • Sunshine boiled sweets, 160g. 'Best before' date: 1 June 2013
  • Doppio sweets, 160g. 'Best before' date: 1 September 2013
  • Tequila cube sweets, 160g. 'Best before' date: 13 September 2013
  • Supertwist boiled sweets, 160g. 'Best before' date: 1 November 2013

Some people with asthma are sensitive to sulphites and relatively small amounts may trigger an asthma attack. If you’re allergic or sensitive to sulphites, please do not eat these products but return it to the nearest store.

Montezuma’s Chocolates has recalled the affected stock from sale. Customer notices will be displayed in stores, explaining to customers why the products have been recalled.

About allergy alerts

Sometimes there will be a problem with a food product that means it should not be sold. Then it might be 'withdrawn' (taken off the shelves) or 'recalled' (when customers are asked to return the product). Sometimes foods have to be withdrawn or recalled if there is a risk to consumers because the allergy labelling is missing or incorrect or if there is any other food allergy risk.

In such situations the Agency will issue an Allergy Alert. It is also possible to subscribe to an email alert system to receive automatic messages whenever Allergy Alerts are issued. Click on the 'Email updates' link in the box at the bottom of this page to find more details.

You can get details of all the latest allergy alerts as soon as they're issued by getting the details sent as a SMS text message direct to your mobile phone. To sign up to this free service, simply send the text message 'START ALLERGY' to the number 62372. To unsubscribe, just text 'STOP ALLERGY' to the same number.

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Science behind the story

Sulphites are used as preservatives in a wide range of foods, in particular soft drinks, sausages, burgers, and dried fruit and vegetables. These additives maintain food colour and prolong shelf-life by preventing the growth of micro-organisms.

When the gas sulphur dioxide is dissolved in a liquid, such as wine, it is known as sulphites.

Sulphur dioxide is produced naturally when wine and beer are made and it is often added to wine to stop it from continuing to ferment in the bottle. Usually, most of the ‘head space’ in a bottle of wine (the part of the bottle not filled with wine) is sulphur dioxide.

Some people who have asthma may react to inhaling sulphur dioxide. A very few people with asthma have had an attack after drinking acidic drinks (such as fruit-based drinks) containing sulphites, but this is not thought to be very common.