An Auckland mum has urged friends and whānau to "keep an eye" on their children's chocolate after making a grim discovery inside her son's bar of Whittaker's.
Teresa Stevens, from the Auckland suburb of Papakura, took to Facebook on Sunday to ask for advice after finding what appeared to be insect larvae nestled in her son's chocolate bar.
According to the photos shared to Stevens' social media, her son had gone to their local dairy and purchased a 25g bar of Whittaker's Sante 33% Cocoa Chocolate, with a best before date of July 6, 2023.
"Keep an eye on the chocolates ya kids buy whānau. My special needs boy brought this from the local dairy. Yes I have informed them and Whittaker's also. Just a heads up. Waiting for a call back [sic]," Stevens captioned a series of images shared on Monday, which showed the larvae sitting inside a groove on the chocolate bar.
Stevens confirmed on her post that she went to the dairy to alert the staff to the issue, who offered to replace the bar.
"I'm like ummm, no thanks, then told them [to] take the rest off the shelf," she wrote.
The discovery comes less than two weeks after flatmates in Wellington found cobwebs and what appeared to be moth larvae in their block of Whittaker's Berry and Biscuit.
"I was like, 'What the f**k?' So I opened it more, there was a maggot in it, and I just ran to my friend and said, 'Oh my God, there's a maggot in my chocolate, what do I do'," the flatmate told Newshub.
The flatmates contacted Whittaker's about the creepy-crawly chocolate and were sent free chocolate as compensation.
"[Whittaker's] weren't at fault. They were really, really good to me and really nice," she added.
In a statement emailed to Newshub on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Whittaker's reiterated that the chocolatier has "rigorous quality control processes" in place, as well as a "comprehensive pest control programme" at the company's factory.
"We're sorry to hear that this situation has occurred and that a Whittaker's chocolate lover has experienced the disappointment of not being able to consume the bar they purchased. Unfortunately, despite all the rigorous quality control processes we have in place, there are things outside of our control that can result in a situation like this," the spokesperson said.
"We have a comprehensive pest control programme in place at our factory, which is run by an accredited pest control company, and our operations are fully compliant with all food safety requirements. However, there are other ways product quality can be affected, for example from damage in transit or storage conditions in warehouses.
"We have thoroughly investigated this specific situation and remain confident in the robustness of the quality control processes we have in place. We have also sent the consumer who purchased this bar some replacement chocolate."
Newshub has contacted Teresa Stevens for comment.