Rapid outbreak assessment: Multi-country c outbreak linked to chocolate products
As of 8 April 2022, 150 confirmed and probable cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported in nine EU/EEA countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden) and the UK – with the first one occurring on 21 December 2021 in the UK. Infections have mainly occurred among children under 10 years old.
In December 2021, S. Typhimurium was detected in a buttermilk tank at the Belgian establishment of the company in question during its own checks. The company implemented some hygiene measures, and sampling and testing of the products and processing environment were increased. After negative Salmonella testing, it then distributed the chocolate products across Europe and globally. At the end of March 2022, upon availability of sequencing data, scientists linked human cases to the establishment in Belgium through advanced molecular typing techniques.
From 2 April 2022, public health warnings started to be issued by national competent authorities and the company carried out a voluntary recall of specific products and lots in various countries. On 8 April 2022, following official controls the food safety authority in Belgium withdrew the company’s authorisation for production. In addition, the company recalled all batches of all products produced at the Belgian establishment regardless of their lot number or expiration date.
EFSA and ECDC experts say that further investigations are needed to identify the root cause, time and possible factors behind the contamination, including the evaluation of possible wider use of contaminated raw materials in other processing plants.
Because molecular typing is not routinely performed in all countries, some cases may be undetected.
Any question related to ongoing product recalls and consumer advice should be addressed to national food safety authoritie
European Food Safety Authority. (2022, April 12). Rapid outbreak assessment: Multi-country Salmonella outbreak linked to chocolate products. https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/news/rapid-outbreak-assessment-multi-country-salmonella-outbreak-linked-chocolate-products