The FDA recently issued a voluntary recall statement from a Canadian distributor of Hot Cocoa (or Hot Chocolate) products marketed under the brand name “G&J Gourmet Market Cocoa”. These hot cocoa and chocolate items were distributed in the USA to Big Lots and Shopko stores in September and October of 2008, so it is quite likely they were purchased by hot cocoa lovers or as gifts for hot chocolate lovers. The hot chocolate cocoa was recalled because of possible melamine contamination.
There have been no injuries reported as a result of the melamine contamination of these recalled hot chocolate cocoa products and, according to the FDA statement issued on December 19, 2008, it has been just “a few samples” of hot chocolate cocoa which were found to be contaminated. Four of the G&J hot chocolate cocoa products are being recalled and that list includes “Hot Cocoa Stuffer”, “His and Hers Hot Cocoa Set”, “G&J French Vanilla Cocoa” and “G&J Double Chocolate Cocoa”.
People who’ve purchased any of these recalled hot chocolate cocoa products can return them to the store from which they were originally purchased for a refund. The recalled Hot Cocoa Stuffer was packaged in green and blue boxes. The recalled His and Hers Hot Cocoa Set was packaged in a brown box. The recalled G&J French Vanilla Cocoa mix was in a green bag and the recalled G&J Double Chocolate Cocoa was packaged in a pink bag. More details about the packaging of the recalled hot chocolate cocoa products can be found on the official recall notice linked at the bottom of this article.
This is related to the melamine milk product scandal which took place in China in mid-September of 2008. The melamine was first discovered in infant formula, but was soon found to contaminate many milk containing products distributed in China, the USA, and all around the world. There have been several recalls issued for chocolate and candy products and this hot chocolate cocoa recall is the most recent for North America.
Melamine poisoning can be deadly and in fact several infants in China died from melamine poisoning. There have been no human deaths linked to melamine poisoning in North America so far. In 2007, a scandal involving several cat and dog deaths occurred in North America when pet food products with ingredients imported from China were contaminated with melamine. Many popular brands were affected and subsequently recalled.
This recall of hot cocoa and hot chocolate is the first recall for hot chocolate.
FDA, Dorsey Marketing Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Three G&J Gourmet Hot Cocoa Products, FDA Website Press Release