SHOPPERS have been warned to be on guard against fake Willy Wonka chocolate bars amid fears they could spark allergic reactions.
Food safety experts issued the warning in the run-up to Easter and say the bogus treats are being sold online and in shops all over Scotland.
In Roald Dahl’s story, the character Charlie finds a special golden ticket inside a Wonka Bar which lets him visit the magical sweet factory owned by Willy Wonka.
Now some counterfeit Wonka Bars removed from sale have been found to contain allergens which weren’t listed on the label – posing a major health risk to anyone who suffers from a food allergy or intolerance.
FSS’s warning comes after an increase in reports of the dodgy bars on sale over the past year.
An FSS spokesperson said: “With Easter just weeks 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.
“There is no way of knowing what ingredients are in these bars or what food hygiene practices are being followed by the people making them.
“If you have bought these counterfeit bars, do not eat them or give them to friends and family.”
The 1971 film starring Gene Wilder, which was based on a Roald Dahl book, flopped at the box-office but has since become one of the most beloved family movies of all time.
And the chocolate bars, which contained the ‘golden tickets’ to Wonka’s factory, were a key element in the Hollywood picture.
The treats were created in real life by sweetmaker Nestle which then sold the brand to Ferrero Roche who no longer make them but still own the selling rights.
Any Wonka-branded chocolate which does not feature the official ‘Ferrero’ or ‘Ferrara Candy Company’ trademarks on the label is likely to be a counterfeit product and there is no way to know if it is safe to eat.
It’s understood some of the counterfeit Wonka Bars are being made by people re-wrapping other chocolate in new packaging, then selling it as a legit item.
Other dodgy Wonka Bars may be being made from scratch then sold as the real deal.
These are being sold online as well as in dedicated sweet shops.
Oscar nominated actor and screenwriter Wilder died aged 83 in 2016 after losing his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.