Is a video showing creepy crawly insects in Ferrero Rocher chocolate real?
Yes, we can verify these viral videos are real. The company has acknowledged the incident occurred.
Ferrero Rocher, Gary Hevel, Smithsonian Institute Entomology Department Public Information Officer, Michael Raupp, University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Teranda Cole and her sister-in-law from Hyattsville, Md. came across a cringe-worthy video on Facebook, showing creepy crawlers worming their way in and out of a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. They asked the Verify team to find out if it’s real.
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. 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 bug on each one.
Verify researchers contacted a Ferrero Rocher representative who sent the following statement:
“Infestation is a problem which can occur during the storage and/or distribution phase if products are not stored in ideal conditions. Ferrero has a comprehensive pest management program 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 of the ovens and the packaging 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 already-infested food, or even 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. Further information is provided on our website, www.ferrerousa.com.”
But we didn’t stop there. 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.
Ferrero Rocher does have instructions on how to properly store their Praline chocolates on their website. You can click here for more information.
As for Rachel Vile, the company mailed her a $25 gift card to Walmart in “appreciation” of the woman bringing this matter to their attention.
Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.
© 2017 WUSA-TV