The manufacturer of Kinder chocolate, Ferrero, has voluntarily recalled two products because of concerns that the candy might be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.
The products, Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats Basket and Kinder Happy Moments Milk Chocolate and Crispy Wafers Assortment, were manufactured in a facility in Belgium where salmonella was detected.
So far, no reports of illnesses in the U.S. have been linked to the products, Ferrero said in its announcement, which was posted Thursday on the Food and Drug Administration's website. The European Food Safety Authority detected 134 salmonella cases from Jan. 7 to Tuesday, most of them among children under 10. The agency said that "specific chocolate products have been identified as the likely route of infection."
The candy is being recalled as many families stock up on treats less than a week before Easter.
"Ferrero deeply regrets this situation," the company said. "We take food safety extremely seriously and every step we have taken has been guided by our commitment to consumer care. We will continue to work cooperatively with the Food and Drug Administration to address this matter."
Salmonella infections can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain in healthy people, and they may result in more serious cases among those who are very young, old or immunocompromised.
The recalled Kinder Happy Moments assortments were sold at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores across the U.S. and in Costco stories in the San Francisco Bay Area and northern Nevada. The lot codes of those batches — 48RUP334, 48RUP335, 48RUP336 and 48RUP337 — can be found on the back panel. The products have a “best by” date of July 18, 2022.
The recalled Kinder Mix baskets were sold at 14 Big Y Supermarket stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Their lot code, 03L 018AR — 306, can be found on the bottom of the package. The items have a “best by” date of July 30, 2022.
Ferrero has also recalled Kinder products in Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
"FDA is aware of the recall in the EU market and we are analyzing shipment data to determine if impacted product was imported into the United States. At this time we have no further details to provide," an FDA spokesperson said. "When a company announces a recall, market withdrawal or safety alert, the FDA posts the company’s announcement as a public service."
Belgium’s food safety authority ordered the Ferrero manufacturing facility in question, in Arlon, to close temporarily last week. It also recalled all Kinder products produced there, including Kinder Surprise, Kinder Surprise Maxi, Kinder Mini Eggs and Kinder Schokobons.