The federal food agency (FAVV) recalled the chocolate eggs of Kinder Surprise and several other chocolate products of the Ferrero brand on Monday. The products, which were produced in Belgium, are associated with a salmonella outbreak in several European countries. Consumers who have already bought the products are asked not to eat them. The Agency for Care and Health is investigating whether sixteen cases of salmonella reported in recent months are related to the salmonella contamination at Ferrero.
The recall is the result of a series of salmonella outbreaks in several European countries. An investigation was then launched in which the chocolate eggs from Kinder Surprise emerged as a suspicious product. According to Hélène Bonte, spokeswoman for the FASFC, there are outbreaks in six countries. The countries concerned were not disclosed.
Link to other cases?
In our country, no cases have yet been linked to that outbreak, but Zorg en Gezondheid is investigating a possible link in 16 salmonella cases in recent weeks. “The information about the infections comes from the National Reference Lab for Salmonella, a lab to which doctors can send samples for further research. They have looked at which samples they have received in recent weeks and based on that made a selection of samples that may have a connection with the chocolate products,” explains Moonens. There is no obligation to report salmonella in our country, so patients are not reported to the Agency itself.
Care and Health is now looking for the contact details of the patients in question, after which a source survey will be conducted. The people will be asked, among other things, what they have eaten.
In the United Kingdom, 63 salmonella infections have already been linked to chocolate products, the Reuters news agency reported. This mainly concerns children under the age of five.
Specifically, five Ferrero products are now being recalled: Kinder Surprise 20g and 3x20g with an expiration date between 11/07/22 and 7/10/22, Kinder Surprise Maxi with (expiration date between 10/08/22 and 10/09/22), Schoko-Bons (expiry date between 10/08/22 and 10/09/22) and Kinder Mini Eggs (between 10/08/22 and 10/09/22).
Don’t eat the eggs
The FASFC asks “urgently” not to consume the products, which are popular with young children. “With Easter approaching, the FASFC requests that parents and educators check whether they have these products in their possession and, if so, ensure that they are not consumed,” it sounds.
The products, which were produced at Ferrero in Arlon, are also being recalled in several other European countries. The food agency says that “additional and targeted checks” are being carried out at the company in the meantime.
Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause the infection salmonellosis. This is a common infection that in most cases heals without treatment. But in some cases, salmonellosis can become more serious. The symptoms are fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea, within 6 to 72 hours after consuming the contaminated food. Young children, pregnant women, people with reduced resistance and the elderly are at greater risk of developing symptoms. In case of severe symptoms, a doctor should be consulted.
Consumers with questions can contact the Consumer Reporting Center of the FASFC, via the online form or on the toll-free number 0800/13.550.