Ferrero plant shut down after salmonella contamination


More than a hundred cases of salmonella have been linked to eating Ferrero’s Kinder Surprise and Schokobons, among other products, in a number of EU countries (France, Republic of Ireland and Belgium) and the United Kingdom. The contaminated chocolate was manufactured at Ferrero’s Belgian factory in Arlon. Production has since been halted.

According to health authorities, the first case of salmonella linked to this outbreak was detected in the UK on 7 January, with more cases being detected in several countries from 17 February onwards. The Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) halted production at Ferrero’s Arlon factory on 8 April.

Ferrero has stated that investigations show the infections to have been caused by the filter in two raw material reservoirs. However, the food authorities claim that Ferrero’s conclusion is premature and say that the investigations are still underway.

Restart plan Ferrero

According to the FASFC, it received a new application for a manufacturing permit from the Ferrero factory in Arlon on 4 May. The FASFC has 30 days to respond to the request. FASFC spokesperson Hélène Bonte is quoted in the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws as saying: “Our experts will go on site in Arlon next week to conduct a detailed study of the documents and measures in Ferrero’s restart plan.” In the most favourable scenario for Ferrero, FASFC will grant a conditional and provisional manufacturing permit for an initial period of three months.

In the meantime, certain batches of Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise Maxi 100g and Kinder Schokobons made at the Arlon factory have been withdrawn from shelves in countries including the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia. Ferrero has described the recall as “precautionary”.