BERLIN – Residents of a Swiss town got a bit of a shock when it started snowing particles of a fine cocoa powder after the ventilation system at a chocolate factory malfunctioned.
The Lindt & Spruengli company confirmed local reports Tuesday that there was a minor defect in the cooling ventilation for a line for roasted “cocoa nibs” in its factory in Olten, between Zurich and Basel.
The nibs, fragments of crushed cocoa beans, are the basis of chocolate.
Combined with strong winds on Friday morning, the powder spread around the immediate vicinity of the factory, leaving a fine cocoa dusting.
The company says one car was lightly coated, and that it has offered to pay for any cleaning needed — but hasn't yet been taken up on the offer.
Factory production was able to continue as normal and the company says the particles were completely harmless to people or the environment.
The ventilation system has now been repaired.