Investigations led by UKHSA, Public Health Scotland, Public Health Wales and Public Health Agency Northern Ireland found a link between reported cases of salmonella poisoning across the UK and a specific product produced by the Ferrero company.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA), along with Food Standards Scotland, advised consumers to not eat Kinder products with best before dates between 11 July 2022 and 7 October 2022.
Ferrero has taken the precautionary step to undertake a product withdrawal and recall with immediate effect whilst investigations continue. It is thought that the affected products were all manufactured at the same factory – other products manufactured by Kinder are not thought to be affected.
A spokesman for the confectionery manufacturer said: "Ferrero is co-operating with the UK Food Standards Agency and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland on a possible link to a number of reported cases of salmonella.
"Although none of our Kinder products released to market have tested positive for salmonella, and we have received no consumer complaints, we are taking this extremely seriously as consumer care is our top priority."
The precautionary measure taken by the manufacturer was welcomed by the FSA, while highlighting the increased risk the affected products could pose to younger consumers who they are popular with – heightened further by the proximity of the recall to Easter.
“The food business involved has voluntarily carried out this product withdrawal and recall and we are working closely with them and their competent authorities to identify the precise cause of this outbreak,” added FSA head of incidents Tina Potter.
“We are also working closely with UK and international partners including UKHSA and Food Standards Scotland.”
Fererro’s recall followed an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 infections across Europe linked to eggs that led to 272 cases of food poisoning, including 12 in the UK, with the source unknown.
The outbreak was first detected on 2 September last year, with a noticeable rise in Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 infections, according to the European Food Safety Authority.
The FSA reported a number of recalls linked to salmonella, with products including pork snack products, frozen raw dog foods and infant formula.