What appeared to be metal fragments were found Thursday in Valentine’s Day lollipops at an elementary school, and the product has been pulled from the shelves of thousands of stores across the country.
At least 20 apparently tainted lollipops, from a bag of Pokemon Valentine Cards and Pops, were found at Kathleen Elementary School in Lakeland, Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Rodgers said.
On Wednesday, Lisa Potter in nearby Mulberry told authorities she found a lollipop with a blade-like piece of metal in it in a bag of the same product.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office issued a safety advisory and the Dollar Store chain removed the product, sold in bags of 10, from its more than 8,000 stores nationwide.
Potter said her bag was purchased at a Dollar General store last week.
Rogers said she didn’t know if any criminal charges would be filed. Detectives plan to X-ray the candy from the school on Friday.
The sheriff’s office said the product’s manufacturer, Sherwood Brands of Maryland, was cooperating. The company did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.
Dollar General, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., also pulled another Sherwood Brands product, Dog Artlist Collection Valentine Cards and Pops, from shelves. A store chain spokeswoman, Tawn Earnest, said no other pieces of metal have been found in the manufacturer’s products.