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.”