Spain joins the countries on alert due to the outbreak of salmonella that the European authorities have linked to several batches of Kinder chocolate products. The case has led the Italian confectionery group Ferrero to halt production of its popular chocolate eggs in Belgium.
According to the latest assessment carried out by the European health authorities with data up to April 8, the outbreak of salmonella linked to Belgian kinder products has caused 119 confirmed and 31 probable cases of salmonella in 10 countries.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said on Tuesday that most cases of salmonellosis have been in children under 10 years of age.
The outbreak is characterized by an unusually high proportion of children requiring hospitalization, including some with severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea.
According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, the Spanish health authorities are now investigating the first suspected case in Spain, which has not required hospitalization.
The Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs, through the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), decreed a few days ago the withdrawal of 14 Kinder products manufactured at its facilities in Arlon (Belgium), regardless of their expiration date, including batches of Kinder Schokobons, Kinder Surprise or Kinder Happy Moments.
Kinder products subject to health alert in Spain (in their Spanish trade name):
- Kinder Schokobons 46 gr.
- Kinder Schokobons 125 gr.
- Kinder Schokobons 200 gr.
- Kinder Schokobons 225 gr.
- Kinder Schokobons 500 gr.
- Kinder Schokobons White 200 gr.
- Kinder Sorpresa Maxi FROZEN 100gr.
- Kinder Sorpresa Maxi NATOONS 100gr
- Kinder Sorpresa Maxi NAVIDAD 100 gr.
- Kinder Sorpresa Maxi PITUFOS 100gr.
- Kinder Sorpresa de 6 unidades edición Navidad.
- Kinder Happy Moments 133 gr
- Kinder Happy Moments 191 gr.
- Kinder Mix Navidad.
Further investigations needed
European health and food safety bodies are confident that product recalls and health alerts will reduce the risk of new infections.
However, they emphasize in their report that “further investigations are needed at the production site to identify the cause, timing and possible factors behind the contamination, including evaluating the possibility of wider use of contaminated raw material in other production processing plants."
About half of the salmonella infections were recorded in Britain, with the first case already being detected on January 7. Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are also affected.
On Tuesday, Kinder products made in Belgium were also recalled by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority due to possible contamination with salmonella bacteria.