Some Kinder chocolates are recalled in the U.S. after a salmonella outbreak in Europe
A recall of Kinder chocolate products has now expanded from Europe and Canada to the United States. Ferrero's plant in Belgium, where a salmonella outbreak originated, has been shut down and its license to produce food products has been withdrawn, according to the government food safety agency.
Several Kinder chocolate products, including the popular Kinder Eggs, had already been recalled across Europe and Canada due to the outbreak across several European countries.
Ferrero U.S.A. has also announced recalls of two Kinder products, though it said no cases of salmonella connected to the products in the U.S. have been reported. Kinder Happy Moments Chocolate Assortment and Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats basket are being voluntarily recalled in the U.S. because the product may be contaminated, the company said.
"Ferrero is voluntarily recalling the products out of an abundance of caution due to reported cases of Salmonella in consumers that consumed products in Europe that were manufactured at the same facility," it said.
Consumers should not eat the affected products and can contact the company for a refund.
At least 134 cases have been reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, mainly among children under 10 years old. The first case was identified in the United Kingdom in early January.
Ferrero says it was able to track down the origin of the salmonella outbreak to a filter at the company's plant in Arlon, Belgium. Ferrero announced Friday that it was suspending operations at the plant.
"Ferrero acknowledges there were internal inefficiencies, creating delays in retrieving and sharing information in a timely manner," the company said. "This impacted the speed and effectiveness of the investigations. The plant will only re-open once certified by the authorities."
Ferrero says the presence of salmonella was detected on Dec. 15.
The recall in Europe only applies to products manufactured in Belgium and, in addition to the Kinder Eggs, includes batches of Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise Maxi 100g and Kinder Schoko-Bons.
"We deeply regret this matter and would like to thank authorities for the ongoing collaboration and recommendations," Ferrero said. "We take food safety extremely seriously and every step we have taken has been guided by our commitment to consumer care."