A global outbreak of salmonellosis was narrowly averted last April thanks to an effective recall by Belgium’s Ferrero factory, whose children’s products had been infected with the bacterium.
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“Without clear and coordinated action across Europe and beyond, thousands more children could have contracted the disease and many potentially died,” said Johanna Takkinen, disease specialist at the European Center for Prevention and Disease Control (ECDC), according to Belgian media.
Last April, more than a hundred cases of salmonellosis were recorded in various European countries, including 128 cases in the UK, following the consumption of Ferrero products, including various Kinder Surprise eggs.
Alerts were then launched in 130 countries, allowing authorities to trace the source of the salmonella from the Ferrero factory in Belgium, Belgian media continued.
Last September, the factory finally got permission to reopen its doors after having its license revoked by Belgium’s Federal Food Chain Safety Agency (AFSCA) following the event.
Fortunately, thanks to interdisciplinary collaboration between microbiologists, epidemiologists and food safety experts, what the ECDC expert says could have become a “global epidemic” was prevented.