Someone's Selling Counterfeit Wonka Bars to U.K. Shops

British retailers and customers are warned to be on the lookout for fake chocolate.

Nestle Wonka chocolate bars
Photo: Anna Gowthorpe / PA Images via Getty Images

If you're buying a high-dollar handbag or a limited-edition pair of sneakers, you might worry that what you've got in your online shopping cart isn't an authentic product. By contrast, if you grab a chocolate bar from the corner shop, you don't even stop to consider that it could be counterfeit, with fake logos on the label and a list of unknown ingredients.

But the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency (FSA) is warning shoppers that they absolutely need to be on the lookout for fake candy bars, because they've discovered some counterfeit Wonka chocolate bars in both brick-and-mortar and online retailers across the country.

In a warning published to its website, the FSA warns that the counterfeit Wonka bars could be unsafe because they're being made by "unregistered businesses" that may not follow food hygiene laws, and because some of the counterfeits that have been analyzed contained allergens that weren't listen on the labels. (The Mirror reported that some of the faux Wonkas were made by opening an existing candy bar, and then slipping it into a Wonka-logo wrapper.)

"With Easter less than a month away, it is more important than ever that parents and grandparents are aware of the risks that these bogus chocolate bars could pose to their children, particularly those living with a food allergy or intolerance," Tina Potter, the Head of Incidents at the Food Standards Agency, said in a statement.

"There is no way of knowing what ingredients are in these bars or what food hygiene practices are being followed by the people making or repackaging them. If you have bought these knock-off bars, do not eat them or give them to friends and family."

According to the FSA, an authentic Wonka chocolate bar will have an official "Fererro" or "Ferrara Brand Candy Company" trademark on its label. It also encourages any customer who has encountered a fake Wonka to "raise the issue with the retailer" and to report it to the local authorities.

Weirdly, this isn't the first time that Wonka bars have been counterfeited. In April 2013, boxes of faux Wonkas started to appear in shops throughout the country and, even worse, their labels promoted a golden ticket giveaway (albeit without any details about what the possible prize was, or how any potential winners could collect it).

At the time, Nestle owned the trademark for Wonka bars, and the company confirmed to Sky News that it hadn't actually made any Wonka-brand chocolates since 2010. Some of the chocolate bars were being sold for as much as £3 ($3.92) each, and one Manchester candy shop was fined £6,727 ($8,807) after authorities discovered that it had sold "hundreds" of the fake bars. The Manchester Evening News reported that the fake Wonka scheme was, uh, unwrapped when a woman who bought a "winning" chocolate bar for her grandkid called Nestle to ask how she could get his prize. The company informed her that they hadn't made any Wonka bars recently, so unfortunately, there was no prize to collect. She then called the UK's Trading Standards agency to file a report, and an investigation was launched.

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