Parents are now storming hospitals because of children’s chocolate

Ferrero had to recall several children’s chocolate products due to suspected salmonella. This worries many parents.

Although the chocolate manufacturer Ferrero has known for months that salmonella was discovered in a factory, nothing happened. When several children in the UK fell ill, the recall of Kinder chocolate products began. Meanwhile, many supermarkets have removed all 13 stocks of “kids” products from the shelves.

The reports made headlines across Europe – and worried many parents. “Reports of childhood illnesses always give us a tremendous amount of extra work,” a nurse working in a cantonal pediatric emergency told “20 Minutes” on Monday. The mail arrived “20 minutes” just before 3 a.m., and the nurse had to listen to the tenth story from concerned parents that their children had also suddenly eaten eggs.

“The excitement about salmonella is fantastic”

She’s clearly not alone in this: “The topic of salmonella in children’s chocolate currently causes a lot of uncertainty and has caused a lot of uncertainty,” says Simone Fleury, MD, a pediatrician at Valais County Hospital. Fleury sees several reasons for this: “It is a very popular product, especially with children. If the parents or grandparents wanted to please the child and bought them chocolate for the children and the next day they read in the newspaper that it was contaminated with salmonella it would have been, the enthusiasm is understandable.”

In addition, according to Florey, due to the lifting of corona measures, infectious diseases such as gastroenteritis are currently spreading in intensity: “Many children are currently suffering from stomach pain, nausea or have to vomit frequently. With salmonella, however, the fact That these diseases are currently spreading causes more uncertainty.”

At the Cantonal Hospital in Valais, some suspected cases have already been closely examined: “If a child really has symptoms that are more severe or last longer and have previously eaten children’s chocolate, we are investigating.” So far, however, there has been no confirmed case of salmonella poisoning after eating chocolate for children.

Symptoms usually disappear after two days.

Toxinfo.ch has also received a number of calls on this subject. This happens again and again during recall campaigns. “We then try to tell parents that there may be very different reasons for their children to have stomach pains or diarrhea – even if they ate children’s chocolate shortly before,” says Colette Degrande, MD, PhD at Tox Info Suisse.

Bojan Josefowicz, who is in charge of communications at Children’s Hospital Zurich, says there’s actually no reason to worry: “Stomach flu is more common than salmonella,” he says. Symptoms are similar, especially diarrhea and vomiting. “Symptoms usually go away within a day or two, even with salmonella. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids,” says Jovovich. A medical examination is only recommended if symptoms persist for a longer period or if the child’s condition deteriorates.

Six cases of salmonella bacteria in Austria

Since the beginning of January 2022, more than 150 people, mostly children, have contracted salmonella in Europe. This outbreak is caused by a specific strain of Salmonella (multi-resistant S. TyphimuriumMonophasic MLVA 3-11-14-NA-0211 Sequence Type 34) is associated with branded Ferrero Kinder Schokolade products manufactured at a facility in Belgium.

Surgery eggs: Six cases of salmonella already in Austria

The Ministry of Health immediately launched investigations in Austria after the outbreak became known. An analysis by the AGES Salmonella Reference Center shows that between January and March, in all likelihood, six people in Austria, including five children aged 3 to 6, were infected with the same strain of salmonella:

In five patient isolates, genetic testing has already been completed, and in one case final testing is still underway. AGES is now tasked with investigating outbreaks of foodborne illness at the federal state level.

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