One family got a not-so-fun surprise in their Ferrero Rocher chocolate balls: Insect larvae.
"I just spit mine out and about threw up," Mario Crawford told WOWT.
His mom, Nicole Dyer, said she bought the treats at an Omaha Walmart on Dec. 1 and opened them 10 days later. The expiration date is not until January.
Her kids had already gotten into the candy and were about to start eating when she realized.
"I was worried what might happen to them. I had to hurry up and Google, 'Side effects of eating maggots,'" she said.
Fortunately for the family, the larvae turned out to be harmless. An expert with the University of Nebraska Extension Service found that the creatures were Indian Meal Moth caterpillars, which she said don't cause problems to humans.
The manufacturer said such incidences are rare but can happen because the pests can penetrate "nearly any type of confectionery packaging," including the plastic this came in. They advise customers to follow the storage instructions on the the candy.
Below is Ferrero's full statement, obtained by WOWT:
Ferrero takes great care in and is passionate about guaranteeing that all of our products meet the highest quality standards -from ingredient sourcing through consumer purchase. One of the key elements to ensuring the freshness and quality of our products is the duration and conditions of storage, in particular storage at the proper temperature. Our products need to be carefully stored throughout the entire supply chain to preserve their original characteristics, which is why we print proper storage instructions on all of our outer cartons and each consumer package. We take cases of product deterioration or damage very seriously and will do all we can to avoid recurrences to guarantee the satisfaction of our consumers.
Rare occurrences of infestation have occurred in Ferrero Rocher, similar to other chocolate and food products whose packaging makes them more vulnerable to infestation. Pests can penetrate nearly any type of confectionery packaging on the market today, except glass or metal.
Our investigations have determined that infestation generally occurs during the retail distribution or in-home storage phases, when the products are not stored in ideal conditions. Ferrero has a comprehensive pest management program in place at each of its manufacturing facilities worldwide. Importantly, insects would not be able to survive the manufacturing process given the intense high temperatures and machinery used. Although, as mentioned above, we print proper storage instructions on all of our outer cartons and each consumer package, infestation can occur if the product is stored with or near infested food products or pet products. "
More on Ferrero's attention to quality and freshness can be found on www.ferrero.com.