Ferrero Rocher Chocolates Filled with Maggots?

Viral videos showing Ferrero Rocher chocolates crawling with insects are real but not evidence of a manufacturing problem.

Image via Facebook

Claim

Viral videos shows Ferrero Rocher chocolates crawling with maggots .

Rating

Videos show pieces of Ferrero Rocher brand chocolates infested with insects.

Insect infestation is not a common manufacturing problem with Ferrero Chocolates (although it can result from improper storage procedures).

Origin

On 30 November 2015, Facebook user Yeesum Lo posted a Facebook video purportedly showing a Ferrero Rocher chocolate filled with maggots. A few years later, Rachel Vile of Bourbonnais, Illinois, posted a similar video showing a box of the chocolates that was seemingly infested with maggots:

The first video quickly went viral, racking up more than 4 million
views within the first two weeks of its publication. While we have no reason to believe that the video was doctored, the claim that a Ferrero Rocher “customer care representative” said that it was a “common problem” with the chocolates isn’t believable.

In fact, the company disputed the claim on 8 December 2015 on Facebook while responding to a customer who was concerned about the video:

We appreciate you bringing this to our attention as we certainly don’t want our fans to experience this or any type of problem with our products. The video you shared reflects a problem that can sometimes occur with food products, called Infestation. Infestation is a problem which can occur during the storage and sometimes the distribution of food products when the products are not stored in ideal conditions. Ferrero has comprehensive pest management programs in place at each of its manufacturing facilities worldwide. In addition, at several stages during the manufacturing processes, insects would not be able to survive given the high temperatures and machinery used. Although we print proper storage instructions on all of our outer cartons and each consumer package, we have no control over the storage conditions and stock rotation policies of our distributors and retailers. Infestation can occur if the product is stored with or near infested food products or pet products. Pests, such as the ones in the video, penetrate nearly any type of confectionery packaging on the market today, except glass or metal.

When WUSA looked into the later video, they also noted that:

We spoke to Rachael Vile, the woman who posted the video. She said she bought the unexpired chocolate a week before opening it in late August [2017]. When she went to eat it, her roommate stopped her and said, “Don’t eat those” after discovering worms inside the chocolates.

Rachael said she and her roommate opened every piece of chocolate in the box and found a bugs on each one.

Our team tracked down Gary Hevel, Public Information Officer from the Smithsonian Institute Entomology Department. He backed up the candy company by saying infestation typically occurs in how products are stored after leaving the manufacturer. The bug expert said he believes these creepy crawlers aren’t maggots, but instead Indian meal moths, which lay eggs near food and can get in your home by transport from grocery stores.

Several other confectionary companies have experienced similar problems. Videos purportedly showing World’s Finest Chocolates, Huggies Diapers, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups infested with maggots have circulated around the internet in recent years. In all cases, the company explained that infestation is a distribution or storage problem and is rarely linked to the manufacturing of a product.

Sources
  • Titus, Rhea.   “Is a Video of Insects in Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Real?”
        WUSA-TV   6 November 2017.

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