Pain-relief tablets found in November in private-label ice cream cones sold at UK Tesco stores, prompting nationwide recall; authorities fear contamination may have been deliberate, may have taken place at UK factory

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Dec 31, 2013 – Northern Echo

December 31, 2013 () – POLICE are investigating after pain relief tablets were found in ice cream made by a North company.

The products sold in Tesco stores were made by R&R Ice Cream, based in Leeming Bar, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, which supplies ice cream and lollies to shops across the UK and Europe.

Two Tesco own-brand chocolate and nut ice cream cones were found to be contaminated with painkillers in November, prompting the supermarket to recall the products from stores nationwide.

There are fears the contamination could have been deliberate and may have taken place at the Leeming Bar factory.

The frozen dessert firm produces leading brands including Fab lollies, Rowntree's Fruit Pastille lollies, Kelly's of Cornwall ice cream and Skinny Cow products. Production of the cone line resumed before Christmas, but R&R Ice Cream is still not supplying Tesco with the chocolate and nut ice cream cones.

A police spokesman said:

"We have been notified that an ice cream product manufactured in North Yorkshire and distributed nationwide for Tesco stores has been recalled due to a pain relief tablet being found within two separate items.

"This has been risk-assessed as a low risk to public health and North Yorkshire Police will now be working closely with Tesco, the product manufacturer, the Food Standards Agency and health professionals to establish how and where this contamination occurred."

Company chairman James Lambert has enjoyed a successful year after receiving an OBE in June for his work in manufacturing. He recently picked up a UK Entrepreneur of the Year award at a ceremony sponsored by Ernst and Young.

R&R spokesman Richard Graham said: "This is an ongoing investigation, and both North Yorkshire Police and R&R Ice Cream are focused on trying to discover how the product contamination occurred.

"Only two contaminated cones have been found, and full production on the cone line was resumed before Christmas."

A spokeswoman for Tesco said the product recalled as a precaution was a specific batch of ice cream cones after the discovery wasmade in November, and the store is helping police with inquiries.
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