Ferrero has voluntarily recalled some of its Kinder chocolates in the U.S. due to potential salmonella contamination, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Thursday. Both the Kinder Happy Moments Milk Chocolate and Crispy Wafers Assortment and Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats Basket are being removed from shelves because the Belgian plant in which they were produced experienced a salmonella outbreak.
Earlier this week, various Kinder chocolate products were recalled in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Denmark. As of April 5, 2022, 134 salmonella cases have been reported in Europe, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The first case was reported in the United Kingdom in early January 2022, with Ferrero initially identifying the outbreak in mid-December 2021. “While there are no reports of illness in the United States to date, Ferrero is voluntarily recalling the products out of an abundance of caution due to reported cases of salmonella in people that consumed products in Europe that were manufactured at the same facility,” the FDA said in a statement.
Salmonella bacteria is estimated to cause about 1.35 million infections (and 26,500 hospitalizations) in the U.S. every year, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For most of these cases, contaminated food is the underlying cause of the illness. Usually, people who have been infected with salmonella experience symptoms like diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, headache, nausea, and loss of appetite, which might develop between six hours to six days after infection. Most people will recover from salmonella within a few days to a week and will not need any medical attention or treatment—it’s just important to keep fluid intake high because symptoms like diarrhea and fever can be dehydrating. In rare cases—especially for infants, people aged 65 and older, or those who have weakened immune systems—life-threatening complications can develop if the salmonella spreads beyond the G.I. tract.
Related: FDA Links Raw Oysters to Norovirus Outbreak in at Least 13 States
Ferrero announced on Friday that it is suspending its operations in its Belgian plant “with immediate effect.” The Belgian plant, located in the city of Arlon, is responsible for producing around 7% of Kinder products each year. According to Ferrero, the salmonella outbreak was the result of a filter at an outlet from two raw material tanks. “We deeply regret this matter. We want to sincerely apologize to all our consumers and business partners and thank the food safety authorities for their valuable guidance,” the Italian confectionery company said in a statement. While the affected filters have been extracted, the plant will only continue production once relevant investigations have been carried out and officials deem it safe to do so.
If you’re concerned about whether you have purchased the potentially contaminated chocolates, here are the details for each one:
Kinder Happy Moments Milk Chocolate and Crispy Wafers Assortment
- Size and packaging: 14.1 oz (400 g) square box with lid
- Best by date: July 18, 2022 (back panel)
- Lot codes: 48RUP334; 48RUP335; 48RUP336; 48RUP337 (back panel)
- UPC code: 09800 52025 (right side panel)
- Place of purchase: Costco in the Bay Area and Northern Nevada and BJ’s Wholesale Club stores
Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats Basket
- Size and packaging: 5.3 oz (152 g) cardboard basket
- Best by date: July 30, 2022 (bottom of package)
- Lot codes: 03L 018AR – 306 (bottom of package)
- UPC code: 09800 60209 (bottom of package)
- Place of purchase: 14 Big Y Supermarket locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts
Ferrero advises that you do not eat the chocolates if they meet this description. To receive a refund, you can call the Ferrero customer service line at 1-800-688-3552 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. E.T.) or fill out an online form.