France and the United Kingdom are the most affected by the Ferrero Salmonella epidemic; a case in the United States
France and the UK have the most patients in the Ferrero Chocolate Salmonella outbreak which has sickened nearly 450 people.
The UK has 122 monophasic patients with Salmonella Typhimurium.
Public Health France reported that as of June 2, there were 118 sick people in the country. This represents an increase from the 81 cases reported on May 4.
French patients have a median age of 4 years and include 57 girls and 61 boys. Symptom onset occurred between January 20 and April 4, 2022.
Twenty-two people were hospitalized with salmonellosis but have since been discharged and no deaths have been reported.
Fifty-one cases were interviewed by Public Health France and all but one said they had consumed Kinder chocolates.
Nicolas Neykov, the boss of Ferrero France, told the newspaper The Parisian in May that more than 3,000 tons of Kinder products were withdrawn and that the incident will cost the company “tens of millions of euros”.
Wider impact and context
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) has reported 445 cases as of June 3.
Of the 423 confirmed patients and 22 probable patients, the United States has one and Canada has four. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden are also affected.
An assessment in mid-May by ECDC and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) revealed 324 cases in 16 countries. Most of the patients were children under 10 years old.
The two outbreak strains of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium were identified in 10 out of 81 Salmonella positive samples collected from the Ferrero factory in Arlon in Belgium between December 2021 and January 2022, including raw materials, semi-finished and finished products .
Ferrero has intensified controls and increased sampling and testing of products and the processing environment. Batches of products have been released after negative Salmonella tests.
A recall was issued, but potentially contaminated products were still found for sale by UK authorities. New cases of Salmonella infection may also occur due to the long shelf life of chocolate and the possible storage of products at home.
Belgian authorities halted production at the factory in early April, but it is expected to reopen later this month. The chocolate was distributed in at least 113 countries.
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