STOCKHOLM ( Associated Press) — European Union health authorities have reported 266 confirmed cases and 58 suspected cases in an outbreak of salmonella linked to chocolate Easter eggs in Europe and North America, most of them in children.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control noted that 86.3% of cases occurred in children 10 years of age or younger and, of all salmonellosis cases in Europe for which information was available, 41.3% they were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
The outbreak included cases in 14 European countries, as well as Canada and the United States.
The suspicions of the community agency are still placed in a factory in Belgium. Its closure in April and the global recall of its products from stores “has reduced the risk of exposure, but new cases may occur due to their long shelf life and possible storage of products at home,” he explained.
In early April, food authorities in several European countries said that the Italian company Ferrero had recalled specific batches of Kinder chocolate products on suspicion that they were linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis.
The two outbreak strains, both multidrug-resistant, were identified in 10 of 81 salmonella-positive samples taken at the Belgian plant between December and January, including buttermilk and semi-finished or finished products. The buttermilk came from an Italian supplier where the bacteria were not detected.
“Based on the available evidence, no salmonella has been detected in other plants,” the agency said Wednesday.
The Stockholm-based body said it was continuing to monitor the situation and urged food safety authorities in the affected nations to cooperate with each other.