Arrest after Mansfield market chocolate causes 'illness' as agency issues warning

281123 MANSFIELD CHOCOLATE - ITV News Central - Food Standards Agency/Nottinghamshire Police - Ellen Knight
A Government department is warning people not to eat this chocolate bar after reports of illness emerged. Credit: Food Standards Agency/Nottinghamshire Police

Shoppers are being warned not to eat a chocolate bar after reports several people had fallen ill after buying bars from a stall at Mansfield market in Nottinghamshire.

Nottinghamshire Police has confirmed that a 63-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of administering a noxious substance.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) says it's been working with authorities to find out if the product had been distributed beyond the market.

This comes after reports of illness in the area after eating the chocolate bar, called 'Cali Gold' - anyone who's bought it is urged to "dispose of it at home".

The FSA said: "If you have already eaten it and developed symptoms, then you should urgently seek medical attention."

In a statement released on Monday 27 November, Detective Inspector Luke Todd said: "We are aware of reports circulating online of people unknowingly purchasing chocolate laced with drugs from the Mansfield area over the weekend.

"At this stage, there is no evidence to support these rumours. An investigation is currently ongoing to establish the circumstances behind people feeling unwell after consuming this chocolate."

Detective Inspector Luke Todd said: "We are currently investigating reports of people falling ill after unknowingly buying chocolate laced with drugs over the weekend.

"Tests are in the process of being carried out but at present there is no evidence to support claims that the chocolate bars contained any illicit drugs.

"A 63-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of administering a noxious substance and is assisting the police with our ongoing inquiries.

The agency is urging people not to eat the chocolate and to dispose of it at home. Credit: Food Standards Agency

"The chocolate bars were reportedly sold in the orange ‘Cali-Gold’ boxes and golden wrappers pictured on Saturday 25 November in Mansfield Market.

“Anyone who bought any of this chocolate or recognises the packaging in these images is asked to contact Nottinghamshire Police immediately."

Dr Kakoli Choudhury, from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) East Midlands, said: "If you have already eaten this chocolate and developed symptoms, please call NHS 111 or contact your GP."

He added that the "small number of people who became unwell have fully recovered."

Anyone with information concerning the incident has been asked to contact the police.

A spokesperson for Mansfield District Council said: "Nottinghamshire Police and the UKHSA have been in touch with Mansfield District Council regarding a food quality issue reported on Saturday from Mansfield Market.

"The two authorities will now lead the investigation and the council will assist if and when needed."

Ashfield District Council, where the company selling the chocolate is reportedly registered, has been contacted for a comment.

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