EU health authorities investigate Ferrero salmonella outbreak, caution advised for US consumers on Kinder chocolates

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Ferrero has voluntarily recalled batches of Kinder eggs in US as EU launches investigation. Pic: Ferrero
Ferrero has voluntarily recalled batches of Kinder eggs in US as EU launches investigation. Pic: Ferrero

Related tags Kinder surprise

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is launching an investigation into the salmonella outbreak at Ferrero’s factory in Arlon, Belgium, which has led to the company recalling several batches of Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs and other products in Spain, Britain and Ireland.

Belgian health authorities have urged consumers not to eat several recalled Kinder products, while ECDC and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) experts are trying to identify the root cause and the possible wider use of contaminated raw material in other processing plants.

In a further development this week, Ferrero has asked US consumers to dispose of some Kinder chocolate products not authorised for distribution in the country, warning they could have originated from the Belgium facility.

The confectionery group's North American division has already recalled Kinder Happy Moments Chocolate Assortment and Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats basket that are believed to have been manufactured in the Belgium site where salmonella was detected.

Reuters reported Ferrero’s voluntary recall is for two products in the US - Kinder Happy Moments Milk Chocolate and Crispy Wafers assortment with a best by date of July 18 and Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats Basket with a best by date of July 30 - and affects no other Kinder products distributed or sold by Ferrero's US arm.

In a statement, Ferrero maintained there were no reports of illness in the United States to date from the chocolates and it was working with the US health agency to address the problem.

The ECDC has encouraged EU member states to be alert for new cases and for public health authorities to cooperate closely with food safety authorities in the countries affected.

A Ferrero spokesperson said: “Ferrero acknowledges there were internal inefficiencies, creating delays in retrieving and sharing information in a timely manner. This impacted the speed and effectiveness of the investigations. The plant will only re-open once certified by the authorities​.”

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1 comment

Ferrero Salmonella Contamination

Posted by DoctorP,

Root cause will almost certainly be traced to cocoa. We all know that raw cocoa is frequently contaminated with salmonella and other microbes and that effective pasteurisation is an essential CCP in the manufacture of chocolate. Salmonella can easily become established in the manufacturing environment and difficult to eradicate. My team and I were revolutionaries in environmental swabbing for salmonella and the programme kept our business safe for many years until the team was disbanded in the mistaken idea that it was a non-essential cost; as the Business has found out the hard and very expensive way.

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