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Investigation after painkillers found in ice cream made by North Yorkshire company
POLICE have launched an investigation after pain-relief tablets were found in ice cream made by a North Yorkshire company.
The products sold in Tesco stores were manufactured by R&R Ice Cream, based in Leeming Bar, near Northallerton, which supplies ice cream and lollies to outlets across the UK and Europe.
Two separate 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 that the contamination could have been deliberate and may have taken place at the Leeming factory.
The frozen dessert firm, which produces leading brands including Fab lollies, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastille lollies, Kelly’s of Cornwall ice cream and Skinny Cow products, said it was focused on finding out how the product was contaminated.
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 North Yorkshire 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 Standard Agency and health professionals to establish how and where this contamination occurred.”
It is understood that officers from the force’s major crime unit are working on the investigation.
The company chairman James Lambert has enjoyed a successful year after receiving an OBE in June for his work in manufacturing, and has more recently picked up a UK Entrepreneur of the Year award at a ceremony sponsored by Ernst and Young.
Richard Graham, spokesman for R&R Ice Cream, 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 was made in November, and the store is helping police with their enquiries.
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