A recall of Kinder chocolate products amid salmonella fears has been extended to include all of those manufactured at a site in Belgium, regardless of their best-before date.
Chocolate firm Ferrero said it is suspending operations at its plant in Arlon, which it said will only reopen “once certified by the authorities”.
Ferrero said it acknowledged “internal inefficiencies, creating delays in retrieving and sharing information in a timely manner” and said these had “impacted the speed and effectiveness of the investigations”.
The widening of the recall to include all Kinder products manufactured at the site between June and the present date was announced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on Friday night.
The previous recall only covered products with best-before dates up to October 7, 2022.
The FSA, which is continuing to investigate an outbreak of salmonella cases linked to Kinder products, said the new update means all the products in the recall notice, no matter what the best-before date is, should not be eaten.
The recall includes Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise 100g and Kinder Schokobons REUTERS/Caren Firouz/File Photo CAREN FIROUZ
The recall is related to the same products – Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise 100g and Kinder Schokobons – announced earlier in the week.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Friday that 67 people in the UK are known to have been infected with salmonella in the outbreak linked to the treats.
The majority affected are under five years old, the agency added.
Ferrero said it “deeply” regrets what has happened and apologised to consumers and business partners.
The Arlon plant accounts for around 7% of total volumes of Kinder products manufactured globally each year, Ferrero said.
A spokesperson added: “Food safety, quality and consumer care have been at the heart of Ferrero since the company was founded.
“This serious event goes to the core of what we stand for and we will take every step necessary to preserve the full trust and confidence of our consumers.”
Tina Potter, head of incidents at the FSA, said: “Consumers should follow the advice in the latest recall notice, which details all of the products which may pose a risk.
“We have emphasised to the business and the authorities in Belgium the importance of taking as precautionary an approach to their recall as possible and trust that they will continue to put consumers’ needs first in any action they take.
“We continue to work closely with UK and international partners, including the UK Health Security Agency and Food Standards Scotland, to establish how this outbreak started and make sure all necessary steps have been taken to prevent further illness.”
The UKHSA has said the symptoms of salmonellosis usually resolve themselves within a few days but that symptoms can be more severe, especially in young children and those with weakened immune systems.
Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
Anyone with concerns that they might have salmonellosis is urged to contact their GP or call NHS 111.