BELGIUM – After no issues were discovered during the initial clearance period, Ferrero, which was recently involved in a Salmonella fiasco, has been given the go-ahead to continue with its manufacturing operations. 

The company disclosed that the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) in Belgium has granted it final approval for manufacturing at the factory in Arlon.

The factory’s operations were halted in April, which resulted in the recall of goods produced there. The Arlon plant makes about 7 percent of the total Kinder products manufactured globally per year.

Ferrero requested permission to resume production in May, and in June FASFC, also known as AFSCA or FAVV, gave the facility conditional approval to do so.

Before the products were released during this three-month trial period, each batch’s raw materials and safety were examined.

Numerous pieces of equipment were replaced, and 300 meters of new pipelines were put in place.

Since June, FASFC has managed the company’s operations with improved quality controls and testing.

Operations have been managed by FASFC since June with improved quality controls and testing. An expanded sampling strategy was part of it.

All of the raw material, semi-finished product, and completed product analysis results that FASFC obtained were satisfactory because no Salmonella was discovered.

Since conditional approval was given, the agency has made many site visits and identified no problems. FASFC noted that it will continue to closely monitor Ferrero with upcoming surprise visits.

The market has already received fresh chocolate batches. The best before date for these Kinder items is April 20, 2023, or later, as reported by Food Safety News.

“We have learned a lot during this period and have quickly put these learnings into practice. The granting of our production license means everything is in place for our factory to produce with confidence and we will continue to do everything we can to prevent this from happening again,” said Ferrero in a statement.

Cross-border recall

More than 450 people became ill as a result of the monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to Kinder chocolate, between December 2021 and June 2022. Particularly afflicted were children, and many patients required hospitalization.

The country with the most patients was the UK, then France. In Canada, there were four cases, while there was only one in the US.

The outbreak was reported to have infected people in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Denmark, and the Czech Republic.

In Germany, batches of three-pack Kinder Surprise Eggs with a best-before date between April and June of 2022 were recalled.

Other products subject to the recall included Kinder Choco-Bons and Kinder Choco-Bons White with a best-before date between May and September 2022.

Additionally, the Kinder Surprise Maxi (100 grams), Kinder Mini Eggs (100 grams), and Children’s Mix packs containing any of the items above with a best-before date between August and September 2022 were also withdrawn.

The Luxembourg Public Prosecutor’s Office is still looking into the incident.

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