Outbreak in Ferrero: consequences of salmonella poisoning

outbreak in Ferrero
Consequences of salmonella poisoning

Salmonella reproduces well in the gastrointestinal tract.

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The outbreak of salmonella in Ferrero has raised questions about salmonella among many consumers. Veronica Bischel explains in an interview.

The discovery of salmonella in many of Ferrero’s “baby” products raised questions among many consumers. In an interview with Spot On News, Veronica Peschel, nutrition expert and author of “Bio für mein Baby” (Riva), revealed how salmonella develops and what are the risks and consequences of infection.

Salmonella is rarely associated with foods such as chocolate. How can this be a burden?

Veronica Pichl: In fact, no salmonella has been detected in Ferrero “baby” products offered in Germany that were affected by the product recall and which were made in Belgium. However, it seems possible that there is an association between consumption of infected products and the many reported cases of salmonella. The recall is therefore purely a precautionary measure and to protect consumers.

However, the fact that “baby” products are chocolate does not rule out the possibility of salmonella contamination – although salmonella is not usually associated with chocolate. However, salmonella is a bacterium with which, in principle, all types of food that come into contact with pathogens can be contaminated.

How does salmonella develop and how is it transmitted?

Pischel: Salmonella cannot form “on its own” in or on food. Instead, the pathogens are “common” bacteria found throughout the world. It can reproduce especially well in the digestive tract of humans, but also in animals, and therefore is often found in or in food of animal origin. It is then transmitted to humans when eating foods contaminated with salmonella.

In addition, it is also possible for the bacteria to be transmitted to food or humans through a smear infection – such as when shaking hands or touching contaminated surfaces.

What are the typical symptoms of salmonellosis?

Bichel: If salmonella enters the human body in large numbers, it can lead to salmonellosis. Symptoms of the disease usually appear a few hours or days after ingestion of the pathogen. Typical symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, severe abdominal pain, and a general strong feeling of illness in infected people.

What products have a recurring risk of salmonella infection?

Pischel: Salmonella is particularly common in or in foods of animal origin. The risk of salmonella infection is particularly high in foods made with milk and eggs, in poultry and raw meat.

However, it must be remembered that if a surface or food is contaminated with salmonella, all foods that come into contact with the contaminated food or surface can also become contaminated with the pathogen. This means: in principle, any food can be contaminated with salmonella and cause salmonellosis. In Germany, salmonella has already been transmitted, for example, through contaminated herbal teas, bean sprouts and watermelon.

In Ferrero’s case, it was mainly children who contracted salmonellosis. What can consumers look for when shopping?

Beechell: You can’t rule out the risk of catching salmonella-contaminated food when you go shopping. After all, you cannot know whether the food has come into contact with the pathogen or not. However, salmonellosis can be avoided by good food hygiene when handling food.

The most effective measures to avoid salmonellosis are careful cooling and rapid processing of food of animal origin. In addition, foods such as meat or eggs should always be heated to at least 75 degrees to kill salmonella. If this is not possible, food or dishes prepared with it should be eaten as soon as possible so that any of the salmonella present does not multiply too much. If there are few pathogens in the food, this is usually not enough to cause salmonellosis. In addition, all surfaces that come into contact with food should always be cleaned carefully and thoroughly.


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