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FOOD & DRINK

Swiss supermarkets issue recall for several corn chip varieties

Several varieties of the Alnatura brand of corn chip have been recalled by Swiss supermarkets due to contamination with a toxic ingredient. Here's what you need to know.

Swiss supermarkets have recalled several types of corn chip. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko
Swiss supermarkets have recalled several types of corn chip. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Switzerland’s Migros and Spar supermarkets have issued a recall for several varieties of corn chips made by German manufacturer Alnatura. The chips have high levels of tropane alkaloids. 

Consumers have been warned not to consume the chips and to bring them back to the supermarket branches, where they will be fully refunded. 

Migros has recalled three varieties of Alnatura chips: “Mais Chips natur”, “Mais Chips Paprika” and “Maisrollchen Milde Salsa”, having already removed all of the products from their shelves. 

READ MORE: You are not Swiss until you try these seven weird foods

Spar has issued a recall for “Organic Tortilla Chips Sea Salt”. 

Migros has also asked customers who bought the chips from their online store, or from Voi or Alnatura shops, to return them. 

What are tropane alkaloids? 

Tropane alkaloids occur naturally in weeds commonly found in the nightshade family: thorn apple, black henbane and deadly nightshade. 

While not purposefully added, they can get into food during harvesting and contaminate the food. 

Swiss news outlet Blick reports they are difficult to remove afterwards. 

Some tropane alkaloids can be toxic, even in small amounts. 

These impact the central nervous system and the heart rate, causing drowsiness, headaches and nausea. 

Anyone feeling these symptoms after eating the corn chips in question should get in touch with your doctor. Emergency numbers are available at the following link. 

READ MORE: The essential Swiss phone numbers you should never forget

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FOOD & DRINK

Swiss court backs Lindt in chocolate bunny bust-up with Lidl supermarket

Swiss luxury chocolatier Lindt & Sprungli has won its case against the local branch of budget supermarket chain Lidl over its similar-looking Easter bunnies, according to a court decision published Thursday.

Swiss court backs Lindt in chocolate bunny bust-up with Lidl supermarket

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland ruled that Lindt’s chocolate bunny wrapped in aluminium foil, whether “golden or of another colour”, should benefit from trademark protection against Lidl’s rival product.

It banned the chain’s Swiss branches Lidl Schweiz and Lidl Schweiz DL from selling its similar bunnies and ordered the destruction of any still in stock.

Launched in 1952, the golden bunny with a bell on a ribbon is one of Lindt’s flagship products.

Lindt & Sprungli sued in 2018, claiming that Lidl’s bunnies had a very similar shape and appearance and could be confused with its main Easter product.

But the commercial court of Switzerland’s Aargau canton, west of Zurich, dismissed Lindt’s action in 2021.

However, Switzerland’s highest court overturned the decision, finding that Lidl’s bunnies posed “a risk of confusion even if the two products present
certain differences”.

“Given the overall impression produced, Lidl’s bunnies arouse obvious associations with the shape of Lindt’s,” the federal court said.
“In the public mind, they cannot be distinguished.”

Lindt provided consumer surveys showing that its bunny had achieved a level of general public awareness.

The Federal Supreme Court decided that it “can be considered common knowledge that the shapes that Lindt & Sprungli has had protected by trademark law are associated by a very large part of the public with the Lindt & Sprungli company”.

Lindt said in a statement: “This verdict is a milestone for the protection of Lindt’s golden bunny in its Swiss home market.”

Contacted by AFP, Lidl said it could not provide “any information concerning legal proceedings which are still ongoing”.

Lindt & Sprungli employs approximately 14,600 people worldwide. In 2021, its turnover amounted to nearly 4.6 billion Swiss francs.

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