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Kinder Surprise Eggs Recalled Before Big Candy Holiday

Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls,Salmonella on April 12, 2022

Italian chocolate giant Ferrero has issued a recall for their toy filled confection known as Kinder Surprise Chocolate Eggs amid link between 63 United Kingdom Salmonella cases. Additional cases have been reported in Europe in the countries of Ireland, France, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands and additional countries are potentially following suit. Here’s what we know about this Kinder Surprise Chocolate Eggs Recall.

Kinder Surprise Chocolate Eggs Recall

Officially named “Kinder Surprise”, these chocolate eggs are made up with a chocolate shell and contain a toy inside.  It is a treat and a toy all in one, making it a perfect addition to a gift bag or basket.  The toys often need some type of assembly, as you can imagine, so it contains often more than 1 small piece per item.  These egg-shaped treats launched in 2001 are no stranger to governmental oversight.

Bans and Oversight

Many countries have banned the product for reasons other than potential presence of harmful bacteria.  Some have cited bribing children or the sugar content, and even specifically finding fault with the toy inside.

A 2013 law passed in Chile bans commercials that are aimed at children using a gift to incentivize purchase.  Other food labelling lows forced food producers to include warning labels for products high in sugar, unsaturated fat, sodium, and calories.  Other countries have made similar laws.

In the United States, Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act prohibits Kinder eggs under the clause not allowing confectionary products to contain a “non-nutritive object.”  The toy or trinket encased in the Kinder Surprise Egg violates this law.  This law was enacted to protect children from choking hazards and therefore Kinder Surprise Eggs are banned in the United States despite the existing warning label that the toys are “not suitable for children under three years, due to the presence of small parts.”

The product underwent a change in packaging in May 2017 and is now available in the United States as Ferrero’s “Kinder Joy” where the chocolate and the plastic toy are separated.  This was to make it very clear that the toy is not an edible part of the candy.

At this time, the recall does not affect product in the United States, potentially because of this difference in product manufacturing.  Though the FDA and local health departments continually monitor all potentially related food illness to check for links.

Ferrero Claims No Released Products Have Tested Positive for Salmonella

Despite the firm indicating that none of their Kinder products released for sale have tested positive for Salmonella, The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) traced all illness linked to the eggs as being manufactured in the same Belgium facility.

While no deaths have been reported so far, 63 Salmonella cases have been linked in the UK.  Most of these cases have been among young children aged five and under.  In France, 21 have fallen ill, 15 of which consumed the recalled products.

Product Recalls in this Kinder Surprise Chocolate Eggs Recall

Despite denial of releasing potentially tainted food products to the population, the firm has issued a voluntary recall.  “We take matters of food safety extremely seriously and we sincerely apologize for this matter,” the firm said.  The firm is cooperating and working closely with food safety authorities to identify the exact cause of the outbreak.

In the UK, both the 20g single eggs and three-pack eggs with best before dates between 11 July and 7 October 2022 are subject to the recall.  No other products manufactured by Kinder and distributed to the UK are believed to be affected at this time.

In response to other illness, Germany has indicated an expanded recall that incudes Kinder Choco-Bons and Kinder Choco-Bons White with a best-before date between May and September 2022.  Additional recalled products include the Kinder Surprise Maxi (100 grams), Kinder Mini Eggs (100) grams, and Children’s Mix packs containing any of the items above with best-before dates between August and September 2022.

The big concern as we approach this egg-centric holiday is that these items often make their way into small children’s easter baskets.  It is both and egg and a treat, making it perfect for the theme.  This year may be a little different.

“We know that these particular products are popular with young children, especially as Easter approaches, so we would urge parents and guardians of children to check if any products already in their home are affected by this recall,” said Tina Potter, head of incidents at the FSA.

Salmonella

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Salmonella accounts for around 1.35 million infections in the United States each year.  It accounts for 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths.  Food accounts for the primary source of these illnesses.

Symptoms

Symptoms for salmonellosis, the illness associated with Salmonella infection, often include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.  Onset of symptoms can occur anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days after infection and can last anywhere from 4 to 7 days.  Most people will recover without medical attention and should not take antibiotics, though severity may vary from person to person.  Some may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized.  Often the very young, the very old, and those with a compromised immune system are most vulnerable to severe infection.

In the United States

While the recall does not currently include products imported to the United States at this time, if you have these products in your home or plan to purchase them, closely monitor recall status and perhaps hold on to them for a short time until a source of the contamination is located.

Sources may include ingredients, equipment, distribution processes, and so many other factors.  As the investigation continues, the source may be uncovered.

If you or someone you know has already fallen ill with Salmonella infection, hold on to any product packaging for traceback purposes and seek medical attention.

A Salmonella lawyer can help you get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the harm caused by your Salmonella infection.  Teach out to an experienced lawyer at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC to advocate for you on your behalf.

By: Heather Van Tassell