Israel joined the recall of Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs issued by the British Food Standards Agency out of a fear they were contaminated with salmonella bacteria.
The candy is made by Italian confectionary group Ferrero.
Ferrero’s official Israeli distributor, Premium Confectionary and Trading, announced it would voluntarily take back a number of Kinder products produced in its factory in Belgium, Israel’s Health Ministry said Wednesday.
These products include the Surprise chocolate eggs with the small children’s toys inside and Choko-Bons in 46 gram and 125 gram packages.
"We are voluntarily recalling selected batches of Kinder Surprise as a precautionary step, since we have become aware of a possible link to a number of reported cases of salmonella," Ferrero said in a statement.
Premium said it is conducting the recall in Israel to be extremely careful, “even though so far we have not been informed of any possible link between the products and salmonella.”
Premium also said it is in contact with the National Food Service in the Health Ministry over the matter. Anyone who has bought any of these products is asked not to eat them, and can contact the company’s customer service center.
Ferrero added that none of the company’s products sold in Europe – including the Surprise eggs – tested positive for salmonella.
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All the rest of the range of Kinder products imported by Premium are not affected by the recall since they are produced in other factories.
Ferrero also recalled several batches of Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs and other products from Spanish shelves on Wednesday, after similar moves in Britain and Ireland on Monday.
Europe's health agency said on Wednesday it was investigating dozens of reported and suspected cases of salmonella linked with eating chocolate in at least nine countries.
"The outbreak is characterized by an unusually high proportion of children being hospitalized, some with severe clinical symptoms such as bloody diarrhea," the European Center for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) said.
The agency did not mention Ferrero or any other company in a statement, and warned Wednesday that the reported cases were mostly among children under 10 years old.
The European Union health agency said it was investigating, together with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 134 confirmed or probable cases of salmonella.