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The BBC's Colin Wight
"Thousands sold"
 real 28k

Friday, 19 November, 1999, 19:12 GMT
Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

Alien toy Tests found bacteria in one of the toys


Toy aliens have been taken off shop shelves after tests revealed they contained traces of the E.coli food poisoning bacteria.

Trading standards officers in Aberdeen uncovered the health scare as part of their Christmas toy safety tests.

The Alien Wiggle toy was bought from an Aberdeen branch of Internacionale for 2.99 at the start of October.

Laboratory tests found the gel contained in the toy's plastic coating had high levels of bacteria including E.coli.

Danger to children

Trading standard officers say the outer plastic film of the toy could be easily punctured and is therefore a danger to children.

Europleasure, the company which distributes the toys, insists there is no need for panic.

Trading standards officer Bill Fraser said: "The outer plastic film is not all that strong and could be punctured easily which could be a health hazard for children if they came into contact with the substance.


E.coli bug E.coli bacteria was detected
"There was a high concentration of the bacteria in the water that's used to make the substance.

"The water source that's used does not appear to be all that wholesome.

"So we've asked people to stop using them and to return them."

Managing director of Europleasure Stephen Bloom said the Stoke-on-Trent based company was carrying out its own tests to see if the Aberdeen toy was a rogue sample.

Thousands of other Alien Wiggle toys have already been sold, Mr Bloom said.

Further tests

He added: "We also carried out tests and found that its impossible to breach the skin in practical terms. I don't think anyone needs to panic.

"The only way you can break into it is with a pair of scissors. It's quite a solid skin - you would have to be pretty determined to get to the liquid."

Mr Bloom accused Aberdeen trading standards of "going over the top".

"We're telling our customers to suspend selling the toys. They have been big sellers in the past and there hasn't been any problems."

The results of further tests are expected next week.

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