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Danes, Finns also recall salmonella-linked chocolate eggs

Danes, Finns also recall salmonella-linked chocolate eggs

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Food authorities in Denmark and Finland said Thursday that Italian company Ferrero has recalled specific batches of Kinder chocolate products due to suspicions of a connection between the products and an outbreak of salmonella.

They are the latest in a string of countries to announce such recalls, including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the U.K, Sweden and Norway.

On Wednesday, European health officials said they are investigating a “rapidly evolving” outbreak of salmonella in 134 children that appears to be linked to chocolate Easter eggs that normally contain a surprise toy inside. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said the chocolate products were identified “as the likely route of infection,” adding that children mainly under 10 years of age were affected. The first case was detected in Britain in January.

Britain’s Health Security Agency said it had identified 63 cases of salmonella linked to the chocolate eggs and that most were children under five. Salmonella typically causes symptoms including diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Most people who get sick do not need any medicine but severe cases that result in hospitalization may require antibiotics or other treatment.

“The presence of salmonella in chocolate is particularly critical, as the high fat content of the chocolate will be a protective factor for salmonella bacteria when passing through the stomach acid,” the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said in a statement. It “is especially critical when it comes to chocolate products marketed directly to children.”

In Finland, the Food Authority said that Ferrero Scandinavia AB has recalled specified Kinder chocolate products sold in the Nordic country for the same reason.

“We are voluntarily recalling select batches of Kinder Surprise as a precautionary step,” the company said, noting there was a “possible link” to the reported salmonella cases.