On 27 March 2022, WHO was informed by the IHR National Focal Point of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom) of a widely distributed cluster of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) with an unidentified source. Molecular typing confirmed isolation of the bacteria S. Typhimurium sequence typing (ST) 34 and epidemiological evidence has subsequently linked the outbreak to chocolate products from Belgium, which, as of 25 April 2022, have been found to be distributed to at least 113 countries and territories1 across all WHO Regions
Monophasic S. Typhimurium matching the human outbreak cases were identified in buttermilk tanks at the Ferrero Corporate plant in Arlon, Belgium in December 2021 and January 2022. After implementing hygiene measures and negative Salmonella testing, the implicated products (all Kinder products manufactured at the implicated facility (Arlon) including Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise Maxi 100g and Kinder Schoko-Bons) were distributed across Europe and globally.
According to the analyses of the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the outbreak strain is resistant to six types of antibiotics: penicillins, aminoglycosides (streptomycin, spectinomycin, kanamycin, and gentamycin), phenicols, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, tetracyclines.
As of 25 April 2022, 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 (Figure 1): Belgium (26 cases), France (25 cases), Germany (10 cases), Ireland (15 cases), Luxembourg (1 case), the Netherlands (2 cases), Norway (1 case), Spain (1 case), Sweden (4 cases), the United Kingdom (65 cases) and the United States of America (1 case).
Salmonella infections are typically mild and do not require treatment, however, children and elderly individuals are at greater risk for severe complications related to associated dehydration. To date, most cases have been in children under 10 years of age which may be due to the implicated product being targeted at children.
While there have been no fatalities associated with the outbreak reported as of 25 April 2022, among the cases with information on symptoms and severity (n=21), a high hospitalization rate (43%; n=9) was observed. Further information is needed to allow for a more accurate assessment of the severity associated with this event, including data on symptoms.
The outbreak has been epidemiologically and molecularly linked to chocolate produced in Belgium and distributed globally to over 113 countries and territories across all WHO Regions. While 150 of 151 known cases have been reported in Europe, one case has been reported in the United States of America and there is the likelihood of additional cases being reported from other countries given the broad distribution of the products during the Easter holiday which may lead to increased consumption of the implicated product or transportation of the implicated product to additional locations as a result of holiday-related travel.
The recall includes:
- Kinder Surprise 20g and 3x 20g
- Kinder Surprise 100g
- Kinder Egg Hunt
- Kinder Mini Eggs
- Kinder Schoko-Bons
Salmonella: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.
If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.