Last night, the Belgian and British health authorities called for children to stop eating chocolate eggs of the Kinder brand that come from the Belgian factory in Arlon. After a salmonella outbreak in various European countries, that factory emerged as a source of infection.
It concerns the following products that were produced at the Ferrero company in Arlon:
- Kinder Surprise 20g and 3x20g with an expiry date (THT) between 11/07/22 and 7/10/22,
- Kinder Surprise Maxi with an expiry date (THT) between 10/08/22 and 10/09/22
- Schoko Vouchers with an expiry date (THT) between 10/08/22 and 10/09/22
- Kinder Mini Eggs with an expiration date (THT) between 10/08/22 and 10/09/22.
In Britain, more than 60 people have been infected after eating the chocolate, mainly children under five years old. In Belgium, an investigation is now underway into sixteen ‘suspicious reports’.
Two Dutch children sick
After questions from RTL Nieuws, the Dutch RIVM has now announced that at least two children, younger than five years old, have been infected in the Netherlands with the same salmonella bacteria as those in Great Britain and Belgium. It is unclear where the children come from and whether and where they bought chocolate. One report was made at the end of February, the other in March.
The salmonella bacteria is often found in raw foodstuffs made from animal products, such as meat, eggs and dairy products. A spokesman for the Belgian FASFC explained to the news channel VRT that salmonella can also occur on dry products that are produced in humid conditions, as probably happened with the chocolate in the Arlon factory.
Salmonella is a notifiable disease in an outbreak with multiple related infections. If there are multiple infections and the GP is aware of this, this must be reported to the RIVM. In many cases, however, the infection will be experienced at home, because the symptoms of the disease are often mild. It is therefore possible that more Dutch people have become infected, but this is not known to the RIVM.
“If parents have any doubts about the health of their children after eating these products, we advise them to contact their doctor,” a spokesperson said.
Research distribution of Belgian eggs
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) already informed RTL Nieuws this morning that it was aware of the salmonella outbreak. At that time there were no indications that the products from the Belgian factory were also distributed in the Netherlands. “But we are looking into this further together with the Belgian authorities,” said a spokesperson.
After that reporting, several parents informed RTL Nieuws that their children became ill after eating Kinder Surprise. It is unclear whether they are infected with salmonella.
What symptoms do you get from salmonella?
If you get infected, you don’t always get sick. If you do, you often get abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Some also develop a fever, headache, or muscle aches. The time between eating contaminated food and the first symptoms is usually 6 to 72 hours. The symptoms often last 3 to 7 days. The fever usually goes away faster. In many people the symptoms are mild.
The elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with reduced resistance are at greater risk of developing symptoms. An intestinal infection can also have a more serious course for them because they have a greater risk of dehydration.
People with diarrhea should make sure they drink enough water and get salt and sugar.