Food by VICE

Hot Cross Buns Recalled After Pieces of Broken Calculator Baked into Batch

So far, eight customers have reported finding calculator bits inside their buns.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Apr 10 2019, 12:00pm

Photo: Getty Images

Last week, Great British Bake Off finalist and cookbook author Kim-Joy shared her recipe for hot cross buns with tiny, mostly edible bunnies peeking out of the dough. “These hot cross buns will make your house smell wonderful, and you can have fun creating whatever bunny shapes you like out of the non-yeasted dough,” she wrote for The Guardian. “The bunnies are more for decoration, but if you want to eat them too, then just [...] bake along with the hot cross buns.”

Those are adorable, but they really lack the choking hazards and potential for serious injuries that we appreciate in seasonal baked goods. Fortunately, Australia came through. According to ABC News, the Pasadena Foodland in Adelaide has issued a polite but urgent recall for every variety of its hot cross buns, after the broken pieces of a small calculator were accidentally baked into some of them.

The supermarket’s general manager said that, so far, eight customers have reported finding calculator bits inside their buns; more than 200 packages were potentially affected. “"The fragments of plastic have little numbers on them, so we put one and two together and came up with a calculator," Paul Mabarrack said. “The bakers do use calculators in their daily work to work out quantities of flour and water and those sorts of things, so it's a common tool in the bakery area."

Mabarrack may have made an unintentional math joke, but Twitter was doing it on purpose. “Something about this doesn't add up,” one man wrote. “And Jeebus said, ‘Go forth and multiply,’” another added.

A representative from SA Health said that the calculator pieces are one thing, but the biggest concern is whether or not someone is going to bite into its battery. “The concern with a calculator is that it contains a button battery, which, if swallowed, can cause serious injury or even death,” Dr. Chris Lease, SA Health’s Acting Chief Public Health Officer, said. “It can cause burns to the esophagus. It's children that we're significantly concerned about, particularly because small button batteries are hard to find.”

So far, no one has been injured by the calculator, and the health department is investigating how, exactly, this happened—although they’ve ruled out “a malicious act.” Any customers who purchased the affected packages of hot cross buns are encouraged to return them to the store for a full refund.

Maybe next year, Kim-Joy can trade the flour-and-water rabbits for some fondant calculator pieces. Until then, be careful, Australia!

baked goods
hot cross buns