Choco-syringe a child’s play?

Choco-syringe a child’s play?

The advertisement of chocolate-filled syringes that prompted health warnings by Dubai’s civic body may have been a child’s play, literally.

The Dubai Municipality’s Food Control Department had issued a warning on Monday against a fake product of a popular chocolate hazelnut spread packaged in a syringe with a needle. Civic officials said the warning was prompted by promotional messages carrying the photos of the product which were being circulated through social networking sites and smartphones.

It emerged on Tuesday that the person who uploaded the particular advertisement of the chocolate injections with the labels of a popular Italian brand of chocolate hazelnut spread could be a teenager living in Abu Dhabi. In a Middle East-focused blog, CNN reported that the recent frenzy might have been sparked by an online ad in the classified section of a local online shopping site.

The report quoted 17-year-old Salem Al Mihri, whose contact details were on the advertisement posted on June 15 on, as saying that “it was indeed him who was selling the candy contraband online”.

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When Khaleej Times contacted Al Mihri, he claimed that he was the one who uploaded the ad and said had already sold out all chocolate-filled syringes that were on sale for Dh10 per piece.

However, he refused to talk further claiming that he was in Saudi Arabia and would call us back once he is back in the UAE.

He told CNN that he had sold all 30 of his creations to cousins, not the general public, and insisted that the syringes were totally “sterile” and did not have hypodermic needles attached.

“It’s a fun way to eat them, squeeze them out of the syringe, of course I didn’t mean it as an injection!” he was quoted as saying.

The teenager reportedly bought the syringes from the pharmacy, filled them with Nutella spread and added the label after he came up with the idea a few months ago while hanging out with friends.

The webpage carrying the photos of the product had received 500 hits till Tuesday afternoon. CNN said the photo on the ad was updated to say “sold out” after its reporter’s conversation with Al Mihri.

However, the ad was removed from the site by Tuesday evening.

When contacted, a spokesperson from the Food Control Department said the department had issued the warning as a precautionary measure.

“We had not come across the product. It does not exist in the local market, so it is illegitimate. Our warning was meant to tell the public that they should not buy this product or any unauthorised product for that matter.”

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