Urgent recall of Ferrero Kinder Surprise chocolate linked to outbreak of salmonella.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) advises consumers not to eat some Ferrero Kinder Surprise chocolate products that have been linked to a Salmonella outbreak, following a food recall. Consumers who may have the recalled products at home are advised not to eat the affected products.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, Food Safety Authority of Ireland has warned consumers not to eat the affected products.

“If anyone has any of the affected product at home, we are advising them not to eat it. We know that these particular Kinder Surprise products are popular with young children. Given that we are approaching Easter, we would urge parents and guardians to check at home if they have any of the products and if they do, to ensure that any are not eaten. We have ten cases of Salmonella food poisoning in Ireland linked to these products. The most common symptom of Salmonella food poisoning is diarrhoea, which can sometimes be bloody. Other symptoms may include fever, headache and abdominal cramps.”

The FSAI is liaising with the Department of Health and working closely with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre of the HSE, as well as the relevant agencies in the UK. The investigation into the outbreak is ongoing and the FSAI will provide further updates, as necessary.

Q. Why are these products being recalled?
A. A food recall of Kinder Surprise 20g and Kinder Surprise 20g x 3 pack (all best before dates between 11th July 2022 and 7th October 2022) is underway due to some implicated products being linked to a current outbreak of Salmonella infection. To date, there have been ten cases in Ireland with the same strain of Salmonella as that responsible for the UK outbreak, which has been linked to the consumption of some Ferrero Kinder Surprise chocolate products. A number of these Irish cases have involved young children, all of whom have fully recovered.

Q. What is a food recall?
A. A food recall is the removal of an unsafe food from the market when it may have reached the consumer, and also the notification of the consumer about the incident. When a hazard in food has been identified that may cause an adverse health effect in those that consume the food, the FSAI will issue a national food alert on the FSAI website to notify a food recall.

Q. What is a food alert?
A. Where a hazard in food has been identified, the FSAI issues food alerts to let consumers, food businesses, the food inspectorate and laboratories know about the problems associated with that food and the action to be taken.

Q. Where can I find specific information on the products being recalled?
A. The FSAI has issued a food alert giving all the relevant information on the Ferrero Kinder Surprise chocolate products being recalled.

Q. What should I do if I have these products in my home?
A. The FSAI is warning consumers who may have the product at home not to eat the affected products. If anyone has any of the affected product at home, we are advising them not to eat it. We know that these particular Kinder Surprise products are popular with young children. Given that we are approaching Easter, we would urge parents and guardians to check at home if they have any of the products and if they do, to ensure that any are not eaten.

Q. Are other Ferrero Kinder chocolate products affected?
A. Only the specific products listed in the FSAI food alert for this food recall are known to be affected.

Q. What should I do if I have other Ferrero Kinder chocolate products in my home not related to this food recall?
A. No further action is required if you have other Ferrero Kinder chocolate products in your home that are not listed on the FSAI food alert for this food recall.

Q. What is Salmonellosis?
A. Salmonellosis is an illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica. While more than 2,460 serotypes of S. enterica have been identified, serotypes Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) and Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) have accounted for the majority of human infections in recent years.

Q. What are the symptoms?
A. People infected with Salmonella typically develop symptoms between 12 and 36 hours after infection, but this can range between 6 and 72 hours. The most common symptom is diarrhoea, which can sometimes be bloody. Other symptoms may include fever, headache and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Diarrhoea can occasionally be severe enough to require hospital admission. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have more severe illness.

Q. How is infection with Salmonella diagnosed?
A simple laboratory test on a sample of stool (bowel motion) can usually confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor may order this test if they suspect Salmonella infection. It is important to diagnose it because of the likelihood of spread. People who prepare food, the elderly, and children who are not properly toilet trained are at greater risk of spreading Salmonella. In the case of such people, your doctor may decide to send off a sample of stool to the lab for testing.

Q. How is infection with Salmonella treated?
Salmonella infections usually resolve in 4 to 7 days and often do not require treatment unless the patient becomes severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines. People with severe diarrhoea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids. Antibiotics are rarely necessary and are reserved for use in the very ill.

Q. How do people become infected with Salmonella?
A. Salmonella live in the intestines of people and animals. People can get Salmonella infection from a variety of sources, including

  • Eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water
  • Touching infected animals, their faeces, or their environment

Q. Who is more likely to get an infection and severe illness?

  • Children under 5 years old are the most likely to get a Salmonella infection.
  • Infants, adults aged 65 and older, and people with a weakened immune system are the most likely to have severe infections.
  • People taking certain medicines (for example, stomach acid reducers) are at increased risk of infection.

Q. What do I do if I think my child has become sick from eating this product?
A. The likelihood of any individual child becoming sick as a result of eating this product is extremely low. Only a tiny percentage of children who have eaten this product over the last few weeks has developed Salmonella infection. The symptoms of Salmonella infection in children (nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea) are mild in the majority of cases, and can be managed at home. If your child develops more severe symptoms such as diarrhoea with blood in it, uncontrolled vomiting, a high temperature or a nasty headache, you should seek medical advice. It is important to remember that the great majority of children who develop vomiting and diarrhoea are very unlikely to have Salmonella infection, and are much more likely to have a simple viral gastroenteritis, which can be treated simply with paracetamol and fluids by mouth.

Q. How is this outbreak being investigated?
A. The FSAI, together with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre of the Health Service Executive (HSE), is investigating the current food poisoning outbreak of Salmonella which is affecting Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) and a number of other European countries. The FSAI is also liaising with the Department of Health.

Q. How many people have been ill?
A. To date, there are ten cases in Ireland with the same type of Salmonella as the UK cases that were linked to this outbreak. A number of these cases in Ireland have involved young children, all of whom have fully recovered.

Q. How was the outbreak identified?
The outbreak was first identified following an investigation by the UK Health Security Agency, the UK Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Public Health Wales and Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre of the HSE in the Republic of Ireland.

Q. How will investigations continue into the source of the outbreak?
A. The FSAI is working closely with the Department of Health and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre of the HSE, as well as the relevant agencies in the UK. The investigation into the outbreak is ongoing and the FSAI will provide further updates, as necessary.

Q. How many cases of salmonellosis do we typically have per year in Ireland?
A. There were 219 cases of Salmonellosis reported in Ireland in 2020. Further information on the number of Salmonella cases reported in Ireland can be found in the National Zoonoses Report.

Q. Where can I find additional information on illness from Salmonella?
A. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre of the HSE provides additional information in its factsheet on salmonellosis.

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