Chocolate for pigs 'is recycled as Creme Eggs'

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The Independent Online

Cadbury's said yesterday it had stopped using a contractor as an inquiry began into allegations that chocolate earmarked for pig feed was melted and reused in some of its bestselling lines.

Cadbury's said yesterday it had stopped using a contractor as an inquiry began into allegations that chocolate earmarked for pig feed was melted and reused in some of its bestselling lines.

The company ordered an investigation after claims that the longstanding contractor was acquiring chocolate labelled "Unfit for Human Consumption" and reusing it in bars such as Dairy Milk and Creme Eggs.

A Cadbury's spokesman said they would not use chocolate processed by the contractor until the results of an investigation - which begins today - but insisted they had "total confidence" in the firm.

The company at the centre of the allegations, R and JB Higgins, of Chaddesley Corbett, near Kidderminster, denied the claims.

Roger Higgins, who runs the firm with his wife and son, said: "We have worked closely with Cadbury's for a long time and as a customer they insist on very high standards."

His workers strip chocolate bars designated as waste either sent from Cadbury's Bournville factory or from outside distribution centres.

Richard Frost, a Cadbury's spokesman, said that bars damaged in the production process, but in every other way perfect, were sent back to Bournville or another of its factories for remelting.

Those nearing, or just past their best-before date, were sent for resale at Cadbury's staff shop and those past their sell-by date were destined for pig feed.

Workers at R and JB Higgins were accused in the Sunday Mirror of shifting bars from the pig feed pile on to that to be sent for remelting, fuelling fears about quality.

Mr Frost said: "We will investigate the allegations but I would be very surprised if they are as the newspaper claims."

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