Salmonella bacteria usually cause mild and short symptoms and in most cases the patient makes a full recovery within a couple of days.
Special care is required when immunosuppressed individuals and older adults are concerned.
Therefore, in otherwise healthy individuals who have consumed the products, they should seek medical attention if they experience significant side effects of the gastrointestinal system – diarrhea accompanied by bloody stool or fever. In immunosuppressed individuals and older adults, they should also seek medical attention in case of milder side effects.
The Ministry of Health wishes to clarify the sequence of events:
- On 19.4.22 initial findings were received from the manufacturer. These findings have been received as part of routine testing and shown traces of salmonella in the manufacturing area but not in the food products sampled in the factory that have not been shipped yet. Consequently, the manufacturer has been instructed to conduct more extensive tests on the manufacturing area, the products and the raw materials.
- On 21.4.22, during the evening hours, reports were received of non-final findings indicative of salmonella contamination in the raw material. These findings were the result of a rapid test rather than a full laboratory test that takes about 5 days. Therefore, the manufacturer was not required to issue a recall.
- Yesterday, Sunday (24.422), in the afternoon, the manufacturer turned to the Ministry of Health with the final test results, indicative of salmonella contamination in the manufacturing area and in the raw material.
- Following the reception of final test results from both the raw materials and the manufacturing area, the manufacturer has issued a voluntary recall in coordination with the Food Service in the Ministry of Health for all chocolate products manufactured since early February.
- It should be noted that final test results have not been received yet for the sampled chocolate products currently sold in stores. That is to say: These recalls come as an added precaution, until final results are received for chocolate products tomorrow (27.4.22).
- Following the recall by Strauss-Elite, additional food manufacturers that use the same raw materials as Strauss-Elite in their products are issuing additional recalls.
Furthermore, a wide array of additional products is being sampled for testing, in coordination with our Ministry.
Our Ministry has ordered the manufacturer to file a report of the investigation into the cause of this incident and to take corrective actions to prevent such incidents from reoccurring in the future.
The resumption of routine manufacturing activities will be possible after the completion of the investigation of this incident, the completion of corrective actions for the prevention of such incidents from reoccurring, the cleaning and sanitization of the manufacturing lines and following inspection and the reception of normal test results by our Ministry.
Consumer guidance is according to the recall announcements communicated in the media and in the Ministry of Health’s website.
The Ministry of Health continues to closely monitor and investigate this incident, and additional actions will be taken according to the findings of the investigation.
The Ministry of Health will continue to take all the actions at its disposal in order to maintain the products’ safety and the Israeli public’s health.