Dagoba chocolates voluntarily recalled for salmonella threat

A small quantity of Dagoba organic chocolate has been voluntarily recalled after a sample tested positive for salmonella, but officials with parent company Hershey say there have been no consumer complaints or illnesses.

Although Dagoba is based in Ashland, the New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate squares were not made in Southern Oregon, said Hershey Co. spokesman Kirk Saville in Pennsylvania.

The suspect batch of 33 cases was made by La Belle Chocolatier in Napa, Calif., and sold nationwide to natural and specialty food outlets since it was produced Oct. 27, said Saville.

Artisan Confections Co., a subsidiary of Hershey, retrieved all but 10 cases, he said.

"Safety is our top priority," Saville said.

The recall resulted from a single sample which was sold from display boxes with the code 37HLB11, UPC 10474-55509, according to a Hershey news release.

The confections are "rich dark chocolate" with 72 percent cocoa in .32-ounce squares. No other Dagoba products are in the recall.

Dagoba has operated since 2001, starting in Boulder, Colo. and expanding to Oregon in 2003. It was sold to Hershey in 2006, but continues to operate locally.

The Hershey news release announcing the recall carried this warning: "Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of a food contaminated with Salmonella may cause symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis. These symptoms could be serious and life-threatening in young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems."

Consumers who have purchased the item in question should contact Artisan Confections Consumer Relations at 866-608-6944. Hours are 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time.

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