Choc and awe | 

Five people in Ireland hospitalised with illness linked to Kinder salmonella outbreak

15 cases of food poisoning linked to the outbreak have been confirmed in Ireland

The recall initially only applied to Kinder Surprise eggs (Victoria Jones/PA)

Clodagh Meaney

Five of 15 people in Ireland who fell sick following an outbreak of salmonella linked to Kinder Egg chocolate had to be hospitalised.

The European Centre For Disease Control (ECDC) said that 150 cases of salmonella have been reported in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden and the UK.

The ECDC have said that the majority of cases are in children under 10.

It comes after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland issued notices earlier this month announcing a recall of a variety of Kinder chocolate products.

The first case was detected in December 2021.

It came as salmonella typhimurium was detected in a buttermilk tank at the Belgian establishment during the manufacturer’s own checks.

The ECDC said that the company implemented some hygiene measures and increased sampling and testing of the products and the processing environment.

After negative salmonella testing, it then distributed the chocolate products across Europe and globally.

The HSE have said that the most recent cases linked to the outbreak in Ireland were reported in mid-March.

A spokesperson for the ECDC said that they continue to monitor the situation as it emerges and have encouraged member states to “be alert for new cases and investigate human infections with strains that have multi-drug resistance profiles.”

They have also encouraged public health authorities to cooperate closely with food safety authorities in the countries affected.

“At the end of March 2022, upon availability of sequencing data, scientists linked human cases to Belgium through advanced molecular typing techniques.”

“Since 2 April 2022, national competent authorities have begun to issue public health warnings. The company carried out a voluntary recall of specific products in various countries.”

“On 8 April 2022, the food safety authority in Belgium performed official controls at the factory and withdrew the company’s authorisation for production,” the spokesperson continued.

“In addition, the company recalled all batches of products produced at the Arlon factory, regardless of their lot number or expiration date.”

“The recalls and withdrawals launched worldwide will reduce the risk of further infections. However, because molecular typing is not routinely performed in all countries, cases may go undetected.”

ECDC and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) experts say that “further investigations are needed at the production site in Arlon, to identify the root cause, timing, and possible factors behind the contamination, including the evaluation of the possibility of the wider use of contaminated raw material in other processing plants.”

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