Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Salmonella Outbreak Due to Kinder Chocolates in 11 Countries Leads to Product Recall

About 89 per cent of the affected cases are children under 10 years; nine patients were hospitalised; there are no fatalities, said the UN health agency.
April 28, 2022
Salmonella Outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) on April 27 said that there have been more than 150 suspected cases of salmonellosis—from Belgium to the US—after United Kingdom regulators flagged a cluster of Salmonella (S.) Typhimurium cases a month ago, leading to a global recall.

About 89 per cent of the affected cases are of children under 10 years. The available data indicates that nine patients were hospitalised and there have been no fatalities, said the UN health agency.

“The risk of spread in the WHO European region and globally is assessed as moderate until the information is available on the full recall of the products,” the WHO said in a statement.

Genetic sequencing of the salmonella bacteria which sparked the food scare showed that the pathogen originated in Belgium.

“At least 113 countries” across Europe and globally have received Kinder products during the period of risk, WHO said. The agency added that salmonella bacteria matching the current human cases of infection were found last December and January, in buttermilk tanks at a factory run by chocolate makers Ferrero, in Arlon, Belgium. The factory was ordered to temporarily close earlier this month, reported media.

The WHO has said that the outbreak strain of salmonella is resistant to six types of antibiotics.

Symptoms of salmonellosis are relatively mild and patients will make a recovery without specific treatment, in most cases. However, the risks are higher for some children and elderly patients where dehydration can become severe and life-threatening, the WHO said in its statement.

By 25 April, a total of 151 genetically related cases of S. Typhimurium suspected to be linked to the consumption of the implicated chocolate products have been reported from 11 countries, said the WHO. The countries are Belgium (26), France (25), Germany (10), Ireland (15), Luxembourg (1 case), the Netherlands (2), Norway (1 case), Spain (1 case), Sweden (4), the United Kingdom (65) and the United States of America (1 case).

Salmonellosis is characterised by acute fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea that can be bloody as in most of the current cases of infection. Symptoms typically begin between six and 72 hours after ingestion of food or water contaminated with Salmonella, and sickness can last from two to seven days.