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13th Feb 2023

Mars face £12k fine after two workers fall into vat of melted chocolate

Katy Thornton

Mars face £12k fine after two workers fall into vat of melted chocolate

One of the workers was taken to hospital by air ambulance

Confectionary giant Mars Wrigley has been fined £12,000 after two workers at a factory fell into a vat of melted chocolate.

The pair had been hired to clean tanks at the factory in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, last June.

They fell into a tank used to mix ingredients for Dove chocolate, the American version of Galaxy chocolate, and slowly became trapped in the confectionary as it began to solidify.

More than two dozen rescuers responded to the incident, and a hole had to be cut into the bottom of the partly-full tank to get them out, the BBC reports.

The workers were both taken to hospital, including one by air ambulance, but there was no indication that either had suffered injuries.

The regulator’s report labelled the incident “serious”, explaining that the workers had not been provided with proper safety training and were not authorised to work in the tanks.

Milk chocolate is generally melted at around 45C before tempering. This is slightly above the recommended safe temperature for a bath but unlikely to cause scalding unless maintained for a long period of time.

The workers were both wearing safety clothing which may have protected them from more serious burns.

A representative for Mars Wrigley welcomed the outcome of the investigation.

“The safety of our associates and outside contractors is a top priority for our business,” said the spokesperson.

“As always, we appreciate [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s] collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review.”

Mars and Wrigley are each more than 100 years old and are two of the biggest confectioners in the US. In 2008, Mars agreed a takeover of Wrigley worth $23bn (£11.6bn), making them the largest maker of sweets and chocolate in the world.

In addition to Dove, the Mars Wrigley produces several popular products such as M&Ms, Snickers and Twix.

This article originally appeared on JOE UK 

Header images via Shutterstock 

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