Candy Recall Sparks Factory Closure
Italian confectionery group Ferrero has been ordered to suspend production at its Belgium plant after dozens of salmonella infections linked to its Kinder products have been reported in numerous countries. The plant was shut down after Belgium's food safety agency AFSCA-FAVV, per Sky News, said a link was confirmed between more than 100 salmonella cases and Ferrero production in southern Belgium.
The shuttered plant, located in Arlon, Belgium, accounts for approximately 7% of total global volumes of Kinder products, and the decision to temporarily close the plant was made after AFSCA-FAVV "concluded that information from Ferrero was incomplete." Production suspension will only be lifted once the plant can prove it is "meeting all food safety rules." Sky News reported that Ferrero said "there were internal inefficiencies that created delays in retrieving and sharing information in a timely manner."
The plant shutdown comes just days after Ferrero issued its first recall of chocolate Kinder products. That initial recall included batches of Kinder Surprise individual 20g eggs and those that come in packs of three with a best before date of between 11 July 2022 and 7 October 2022. The recall was later expanded to include those products with a best before date of all dates up to and including 7 October 2022. Kinder Surprise packs (100g), Kinder Mini Eggs packs (75g), and Kinder Schokobons (200g), with a best before date between 20 April 2022 and 21 August 2022, have also been recalled, as well as Kinder Egg Hunt Kits (150g) with best before dates from 21 April 2022 to 21 August 2022. All of these products were made in the same factory in Belgium.
Food Safety News reports that a genetic match between almost 150 Salmonella cases in Europe and this factory in Belgium were found and that the Kinder products made at the factory were sent to more than 60 countries. So far, eight countries have reported 119 confirmed and 28 probable monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked the Kinder products. Reports of illness spread across numerous countries, with the United Kingdom being the most heavily affected. The UK has reported 65 cases, with France reporting 25 confirmed cases. Ireland has reported 15, Germany six, Sweden four, the Netherlands two, and both Luxembourg and Norway have reported one each.
Amid the plant shutdown, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that Kinder Happy Moments Chocolate Assortment and Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats basket were voluntarily recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. No illnesses have been reported in the U.S. in connection to the recalled Kinder candies.