KENYA – Following the recall of popular chocolate products by Italian candy maker Ferrero, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has launched an investigation to look into the products’ safety.

The precautionary recall was due to the possibility of a link with a salmonella outbreak originating in the UK that has left mostly young children ill.  The number of cases of salmonella in the UK has risen to 63 with the median age of those getting sick under the age of five.

Ferrero has recalled selected batches of products because of the possible presence of salmonella. They include Kinder Surprise Eggs alongside various other children’s chocolate products.

Bernard Njiraini, the Managing Director of KEBS said that samples of the products by the Italian firm sold in the Kenyan market would be tested for safety before a decision is taken on them. Kinder Joy, is one of the company’s product which is popular in the Kenyan market, especially among children.

“We shall take samples for the test to ascertain they are ok,” he told the Business Daily via telephone in response to their queries.

Ferrero is one of the biggest chocolate and candy companies in the world. The corporation is based in Italy, and owns other popular products like Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Tic Tacs.

Salmonella is a bacterial disease that infects the gut and can cause gastroenteritis. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever.

The UK’s food safety agency (FSA) advised consumers to avoid using certain batches of Kinder Surprise products.

“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,” Tina Potter, Head of Incidents, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said in a statement.

According to BBC, 63 individuals, including young children, have fallen ill.

Other countries recall products

More cases have reportedly been recorded in Europe, including Ireland, France, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

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

Other products subject to the recall include 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 are also subject to the recall.

Health authorities in France also announced a recall of products there after 21 were sickened, 15 having consumed the products being recalled.

Ferrero pointed out that while none of its products had been proven to have a link to the salmonella outbreak, it was announcing the voluntary recall on several hundred tons of products as a precaution.

“None of our Kinder products put on the market have tested positive for salmonella and we have not received any complaints from consumers,” said the company in a statement on its French website.

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