Kinder chocolate products linked to a salmonella outbreak should not be consumed over the Easter weekend, health officials have warned.
A “rapid outbreak assessment” released by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it had matched the same salmonella strain currently infecting people to samples taken from a factory in Belgium last December.
A UK recall of certain Kinder chocolate products was extended to include all of those manufactured at the site since June, regardless of their best-before date.
Agencies including the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have warned that Kinder Surprise, Mini Eggs, Surprise 100g and Schoko-Bons should not be eaten.
As of 15 April, there are 70 cases linked to this outbreak in the UK, with the majority of the cases in children under five.
Dame Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UKHSA, said: “We’re reminding people of the recall this bank holiday weekend as it’s possible these products have been bought and stored as gifts, or for events such as Easter trails.
“It’s crucial these products are not eaten and are discarded. Salmonella infection can be severe and many children affected in this outbreak have been very unwell and hospitalised, so anyone giving chocolate products to friends or family should take extra care to ensure their Easter gifts are not amongst those products recalled.”
Emily Miles, the chief executive of the FSA, said: “As we go into the Easter weekend, we are strongly urging consumers to follow the advice in the latest recall notice and to check any Kinder products they might have already bought against the list detailed in the notice, as they may pose a risk to health.
“If they do have any products on the list, they should not eat them and should discard them immediately.”
Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
Anyone with concerns that they might have been infected is urged to contact their GP or call NHS 111.