Major Chocolate Company Speaks out After Recall of Chocolates Sparks Warnings for Customers
Italian confectionery group Ferrero is speaking out following a massive multi-country recall of its Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs hit the market just before Easter. As several Kinder products continue to be pulled from store shelves across the globe amid a salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 100 children, the company apologized in a statement.
Released on April 7 amid news that Ferrero has been forced to suspend production at one of its plants, the company said they "deeply regret this matter." Ferrero went on to "thank authorities for the ongoing collaboration and recommendations." With the recall still developing on a daily basis, the company concluded its statement by ensuring consumers that it takes "food safety extremely seriously and every step we have taken has been guided by our commitment to consumer care."
To date, there have been nearly 150 confirmed salmonella cases linked to Kinder products produced at the company's Arlon, Belgium plant. Eight countries have reported 119 confirmed and 28 probable monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium infections, with the United Kingdom alone reporting 65 cases. France, meanwhile, has reported 25 confirmed cases. Other countries to report confirmed cases include Ireland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Norway. The recalled Kinder products, however, were sent to more than 60 countries.
According to European health officials investigating the outbreak, per iNews, it is suspected that buttermilk used in the Belgium factory is responsible for the outbreak. A "Rapid Outbreak Assessment" released by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control the same salmonella strain currently infecting people was matched to samples taken from the factory last December. The report said the factory "distributed the implicated chocolate products across Europe and globally after negative Salmonella testing." Ferrero has since been ordered to suspend production at the factory, which accounts for approximately 7% of total global volumes of Kinder products.
The products currently affected by the recall include 10 gram Kinder Surprise dates up to and including 04 January 2023 as well as 3-packs of 20 gram Kinder Surprise with the same best by dates. Kinder Surprise 100 gram varieties, 75 gram Kinder Mini eggs, and 150 gram Kinder Egg Hunt Kit, all with dates up to and including 21 August 2022, are also included. The final product impacted by the recall is Kinder Schokobons in 70 grams, 200 grams, and 320 grams with dates up to and including 04 January 2023.