Belgium – 62 salmonella infections in Belgium linked to Ferrero factory in Arlon

AFSCA

Since several cases of salmonellosis have been reported in Europe, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA), the National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella Sciensano and the Communities (Care and Health Agency, Aviq and GGC Brussels) are carrying out an investigation into possible salmonella infections linked to Belgium. This investigation shows that 62 cases are linked to this salmonella epidemic. No significant increase in the number of infections is expected.

Last month, in April, a link was established between consumers who fell ill after consuming various Kinder chocolate products and the Ferrero factory in Arlon. Through extensive genetic analysis of stool samples (by Sciensano) and patient interviews (by the Communities), 62 cases of salmonellosis in Belgium have been confirmed to be linked to the salmonella outbreak.

The ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) reports figures for confirmed cases of salmonellosis in Europe and the UK linked to the Ferrero factory in Arlon. The figures for Belgium will be sent to them so that they can be updated.

An investigation was also opened by the prosecutor’s office of the province of Luxembourg. Only the prosecution will communicate on this investigation. The FASFC will of course continue to inform consumers.

Restart of the Arlon factory

The FASFC decided in April to withdraw the authorization for the Arlon factory and to remind consumers of all products in the Kinder range manufactured there. At the end of last week, Ferrero officially submitted a new authorization request for the site to the FASFC. If the conclusions of the FASFC’s assessment are favourable, provisional authorization will be granted. It will be evaluated after 3 months. Ferrero is currently making every effort to restart its activities as soon as possible. Cooperation in this regard is going well so far.

David Clarinval, Federal Minister of Agriculture : “I am delighted with the good current collaboration between the FASFC and the Ferrero company in Arlon. Everything is being done to restart production as soon as possible, through a provisional authorization and with consumer safety as the absolute priority. The decision taken by the FASFC in April to withdraw the authorization from the factory was not taken lightly. The impact has been huge, especially for the company’s many employees. We are working on a quick reopening, which will be very positive news for the company, the workers, and the treat lovers! »

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