Chocolate, cheese and pizza: what’s going on with food recalls in Europe?
Various food products have been recalled across Europe following outbreaks of food poisoning.
The UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and Denmark have all recalled certain chocolate products and warned consumers to return or discard them after a number of people fell ill with cases of Salmonella and E. coli.
It started with a case of Salmonella identified in the UK in January. Now, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) say that as of April 5, at least 134 cases have been identified, mostly in children, in at least seven countries.
EFSA and ECDC say the outbreak “is characterized by an unusually high proportion of hospitalized children“.
There have also been recalls of batches of Buitoni pizzas, due to links to an outbreak of E. coli, and two cheeses made by the manufacturer Graindorge against listeriosis.
Here’s what we know so far about which products have been recalled and where.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a product recall notice for a number of Ferrero Kinder products, manufactured at the company’s factory in Arlon, Belgium.
These include Kinder Surprise and Kinder Mini eggs, which were recalled after investigations by UK health authorities linked cases of salmonella poisoning to these products. At least 63 cases have been reported so far.
Ireland’s Food Safety Authority also recalled the products, saying there had been 10 cases in the country with the same strain of Salmonella found in the UK.
Twenty-one cases of the same strain have been reported in France, including eight hospitalized. The French health agency said the median age of cases was 4 years old.
Buitoni frozen pizzas
Nestlé-owned manufacturer Buitoni also ordered a huge recall of frozen pizzas after serious cases of E. coli infections in children. The recall concerns its Fraich’Up frozen pizzas.
The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the outbreak after dozens of cases of people falling ill were linked to pizzas. She will look at “manslaughter”, “deception” and “endangering others”.
Two children have died, although the pizza connection has not been confirmed in either case.
The products have been recalled in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, but they have also been distributed in Switzerland, Andorra, Saint-Martin and Slovenia in Europe, as well as in 15 African countries.
The pizzas in the Fraich’Up range are all made at the Buitoni factory in Caudry (Nord), the production of which has been banned by the prefecture following two hygiene checks.
Nestlé, the owner of Buitoni, launched a massive recall of the affected products on March 18.
Since then, analyzes have confirmed “a link between several cases and the consumption of frozen pizzas from the Fraîch’Up range of the Buitoni brand contaminated with the bacterium Escherichia coli”, according to a press release issued at the end of March by the General Management. for health.
A recall campaign was also launched for two types of Graindorge brand raw milk cheese in France.
It comes after cheese was discovered as a source of listeriosis, according to French authorities.
These are “several hundred cheeses”, told AFP Bruno Lefèvre, the director of the Livarot cheese factory, which produced them and belongs to Graindorge.
The cheeses in question are Coulommiers and Bries 1kg, both from Normanville and Graindorge.
The cheeses in question have been sold throughout France since mid-March in supermarkets belonging to the Auchan, Leclerc, Casino, Carrefour, Intermarché, Cora and Système U chains, as well as in Schiever (which has a strong presence in the north -east) and the “NOUS Anti Gaspi” grocery stores.
What should consumers do?
Consumers in affected countries are warned to return or dispose of all products listed in their national product recall notices.
Ferrero has recalled the following productswith expiry dates from April 20 to August 21:
- 75g Kinder Miniature Eggs
- 150g Kinder Egg Kits
- 100g Kinder Surprise
- 200g Schokobons
- 20g Kinder Surprise sold alone or in a pack of three with all dates until October 07, 2022 included
Tina Potter, the FSA’s incident manager, warned people, especially parents of young children, to check whether any products in their homes are affected by the recall, “especially in the run up to Easter”.
All pizzas in Buitoni’s Fraîch’Up range have been recalled and must be returned or thrown away, according to the French Ministry of Health.
The recall procedure for Graindorge cheeses is due to end on April 19. The identification number of the recalled batches is 250222LI9 and the health mark or stamp is FR 14.371.001 CE, according to the rappel.conso.gouv.fr website.
People who may have consumed the affected cheese who experience a fever, alone or accompanied by headaches, body aches and pains are advised to consult their doctor.
Pregnant women, immunocompromised people and the elderly should be especially aware of these symptoms, he says.