Recall of expanded Kinder chocolate eggs; sick children during an epidemic in several countries
Eight countries have reported more than 100 Salmonella infections linked to Ferrero chocolate products.
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), there are 105 confirmed and 29 probable monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium infections, mostly among young people.
There is an “unusually high” proportion of children hospitalized, with some showing severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea, the two agencies said.
The United Kingdom is the most affected country with 63 cases. Sick people have sampling dates between December 2021 and March 2022, with the majority confirmed in February and March.
Cases are 18 years of age or younger, of which approximately 60% are under 5 years of age. There are more sick women than men. At least nine people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported.
There are 20 confirmed cases in France, 10 in Ireland, four in Germany and Sweden, two in the Netherlands and one in Luxembourg and Norway. Belgium is investigating 26 probable cases and Germany has three.
The French health authorities have been informed by the National Reference Center for Salmonella of the Institut Pasteur of 21 cases of salmonellosis throughout the territory. Eight of them were hospitalized but have since returned home. The median age of patients is 4 years.
Public Health France investigations pointed to certain Kinder brand products in 15 patients questioned. These products were manufactured in the same factory in Arlon, Belgium.
In Sweden, the four cases, all children, fell ill from January to March and live in several different regions. The Norwegian patient was sick at the end of February and was infected with the same type of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium as that detected in the United Kingdom.
Based on patient interviews and initial analytical epidemiological studies across Europe, Ferrero chocolate products were identified as the likely route of infection.
ECDC and EFSA are assessing further data from countries and will publish an assessment of the outbreak in the coming weeks.
Ferrero has extended the withdrawal and recall of products involving Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Egg Hunt Kit 150 grams, Kinder Surprise 100 grams and Kinder Schokobons with best before dates between April 20 and August 21, 2022.
In a statement, the company said no Kinder products released to the market have tested positive for Salmonella.
“Although the situation remains the same, we are fully aware that Easter is approaching where we are seeing an increase in sales of these products and therefore, as an added precaution, we have decided to voluntarily recall the products listed above due to of these products having been manufactured in the same factory in Belgium, in the same period of time”, according to the press release of the company.
“The company takes food safety very seriously and we sincerely apologize for that. Our continued commitment to consumer care drove our decision to extend the voluntary recall. »
Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), warned consumers not to eat the affected products.
“Ferrero has now expanded its list of products that are subject to recall. If anyone has any of the affected products at home, we advise them not to eat it. We know that many of these Kinder products are popular at this time of year in the run up to Easter.We urge consumers to check their home to see if they have any of the products and, if so, to make sure they don’t are not consumed.
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