As of 15 July 2022, 401 confirmed (n=399) and probable (n=2) cases of monophasic S. Typhimurium have been identified in the EU/EEA and the United Kingdom. This is an increase of nine cases since the last update on 3 June 2022. The latest reported case is from the UK with sampling date on 16 June 2022. In addition, cases have been identified in Canada (n=4), Switzerland (n=49), and United States (n=1), bringing the total number of cases to 455 globally.
This outbreak is characterized by high proportion of hospitalized (about 40%) cases, most of these are children below 10 years of age, and some cases with severe clinical symptoms like bloody diarrhea.
Affected cases have been identified through advanced molecular typing techniques. As this method of testing is not routinely performed in all countries, some cases may be undetected.
Based on epidemiological and microbiological investigations, Ferrero Kinder chocolate products from its Belgian chocolate factory were identified as likely vehicles of infection.
The factory was closed on 8 April 2022 (week 14) and product recalls were launched globally.
The recalls aimed to prevent the consumption of products potentially contaminated with Salmonella. As a result of control measures, number of cases have declined rapidly.
Further investigations are needed to identify the root cause of the contamination, and to ensure that contaminated products are not put on the market.
In May, Ferrero asked to be allowed to produce again and in June, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) gave conditional approval for the plant in Belgium to restart. This approval lasts for three months. Raw materials and each batch of foodstuffs will be analyzed and only released if results are compliant.
About 1,000 Ferrero employees and independent specialists worked on the restart. More than 1,800 quality tests were completed, and 10,000 parts dismantled and cleaned. Investments included replacing multiple pieces of equipment and installing 300 meters of new pipeline.
Two outbreak strains were identified in 10 of 81 Salmonella positive samples taken in the Arlon plant between December 2021 and January 2022. Sampling of products and the processing environment was increased but batches of chocolate were released to market after negative Salmonella testing.
An investigation into the incident by the Luxembourg Public Prosecutor’s Office is ongoing.
Table 1. Number of confirmed and probable cases of monophasic S. Typhimurium in the EU/EEA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland and the United States, as of 15 July 2022
Figure 1. Distribution of confirmed and probable monophasic S. Typhimurium cases by week-year in 13 EU/EEA countries and the UK, as of 15 July 2022
Figure 2. Number of confirmed and probable cases with monophasic S. Typhimurium infection by country, EU/EEA and the UK
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.