Kinder chocolate salmonella scare: what you need to know
List of chocolate affected by salmonella recall has been updated.
By Kate Harvey
In terrible timing for those who have already bought their Easter eggs, one of the biggest chocolate brands has had to recall products because of salmonella contamination. More than 100 cases have been linked to eating Kinder products overseas, but so far there haven’t been any New Zealand cases.
The first recall notice went out on Thursday last week but this has been updated today as New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) has been communicating with Kinder’s owner, Ferrero, to work out which products are affected. Here’s the latest information.
What’s the key thing to know?
The key thing to know is that only Kinder products made in Belgium are affected. Kinder products are also made in other countries, including Italy, Germany and Poland. Check your Kinder products and if they say they were made in any other country, they are OK to eat.
If you’ve got any Kinder chocolate that is made in Belgium, NZFS says do not eat it. That’s regardless of whether the product is one of those mentioned in the official recall.
What products are in the recall?
It doesn’t matter what the batch marking or date is on these products – they are all being recalled:
Kinder Surprise Maxi eggs (100g) (Miraculous, Natoons, Disney Frozen and Christmas)
Kinder Mini Eggs Hazelnut (all sizes)
Some products that were sold at Christmas time are also in the recall as people may still have them at home:
Kinder Happy Moments Ballotin (190g)
Kinder Maxi Mix (133g) with plush toy
The affected products were sold at New World, Pak’nSave, Four Square, Countdown, FreshChoice, SuperValue, Kmart, The Warehouse and other small shops.
In addition to the above four products, all Kinder products with a country of origin as 'Made in Belgium' should not be consumed.
Weren’t more products recalled originally?
The original recall on Thursday had a long list of chocolate products but has now been refined to just the ones listed above. That’s because Ferrero and MPI have worked together to work out which of the affected products were imported into New Zealand.
The original list included the popular 20g Kinder Surprise eggs that contain a toy in a capsule and are usually sold at the checkout. These are no longer on the recall list as the ones we have in New Zealand are made in Italy. However, because independent imports can occur, consumers need to check the country of origin location on the products, to make sure they are not from Belgium.
What’s the risk?
New Zealand Food Safety’s deputy director general, Vincent Arbuckle, said most people who are infected with salmonella develop diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps anywhere from six hours to six days after consuming the bacteria.
He said the effects of salmonella could be serious in children under five – those who were most likely to be in contact with the Kinder products. People over 65 and those with weakened immune systems could also be seriously affected by salmonella.
“We know these products, which contain small toys, are particularly popular with children so we urge people to take every precaution.”
What should you do?
Firstly, check any Kinder products you have at home to see where they were made. If it says it was made in Belgium, do not eat it and do not play with any toys that came with it as they could also be contaminated with salmonella.
You can either throw it away or return it to where it was bought.
We’ve asked the major retailers what people should do if they no longer have the receipt and will update this page as their responses come in.
The Warehouse says: Customers who have purchased one of these products can return it to their nearest store for a full refund, with or without a receipt.
Foodstuffs, the owner of New World and Pak’nSave, says: Customers can return any recalled product purchased from our stores for a refund. A receipt is always helpful, but our stores will always do the right thing by our customers who no longer have theirs handy
Countdown says: Countdown customers can return the affected products to their local Countdown store for a full refund. Customers don’t need to bring a receipt, just the affected products.