Spain – Multinational monophasic Salmonella typhimurium outbreak caused by chocolate products

ACSA

This year the Report of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on this outbreak related to Kinder chocolate products, produced by the Ferrero group, has been published. Given the wide distribution and durability of these products, and the increase in mobility due to the Easter holidays, the outbreak, of 212 cases, affects 5 European countries: France (59 cases), Belgium (54 cases), Germany (18 cases) , the United Kingdom (80 cases) and the Spanish State (1 case). There is even a case in the US.

The first patient was confirmed in the United Kingdom, on January 7, 2022, with a sampling date of December 21, 2021. On February 17, 2022, the United Kingdom, which had already carried out Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), notified the ECDC of 18 cases of Salmonella typhimurium monophasic BURST Group 1 (eBG1).

Since the elaboration of the ECDC Report, new cases have been detected which are already taken into account in this writing. The ECDC and EFSA are working on an update of the outbreak assessment that is to be published in mid-May.

The most affected population have been children under 10 years of age and women. Many of the affected people have had to be hospitalized since they presented very serious symptoms.

The outbreak strain is resistant to six families of antibiotics: penicillin, aminoglycosides (streptomycin, kanamycin, gentamicin), phenicols, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, and tetracycline. Resistance to aminoglycosides, phenicols, and trimethoprim is rare in monophasic Salmonella typhimurium and can be used for detection of probable cases. It is susceptible to fluoroquinolones, azithromycin, and third-generation cephalosporins.

The chocolate was produced in Belgium and distributed in at least 113 countries. On April 10, 2022, the International Network of Food Safety Authorities (INFOSAN) launched a global alert. Salmonella Typhimurium identified single-phase in the buttermilk tanks of the Ferrero plant in Arlon, in December 2021 and in January 2022. After implementing hygiene measures and obtaining negative tests for salmonella, the Kinder products involved were distributed throughout Europe and throughout the world. However, on April 8, 2022, the Belgian food safety authority reported through RASFF that the investigation at the plant revealed that the management of the contamination carried out by the company did not ensure the healthiness of the products they produced. , for which he ceased its production. It also extended the recall of all batches manufactured at this facility, regardless of batch number and expiration date. The Luxembourg Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation.It should be noted that Ferrero has production plants in more countries (France, Germany, Poland, etc.), where microbiological tests are also being carried out, given that they share some suppliers. For example, the results obtained in the plant located in Germany are, at this point, all negative, and the cases detected are linked to products made in Belgium. The withdrawal of Ferrero products has been carried out in many countries, including in some where, for the moment, no cases have been declared, such as Canada. and the detected cases are linked to products made in Belgium. The withdrawal of Ferrero products has been carried out in many countries, including in some where, for the moment, no cases have been declared, such as Canada and the detected cases are linked to products made in Belgium. The withdrawal of Ferrero products has been carried out in many countries, including in some where, for the moment, no cases have been declared, such as Canada.

In the Spanish State, on April 6, products with expiration dates between May and August of this year were withdrawn from the market, as a precautionary measure.

Salmonella-contaminated foods are usually not altered in appearance, smell, or taste. 

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