Cocoman Cereals Also Contaminated With Salmonella, Unilever Israel Tells Health Ministry

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A box of Telma Cocoman cereal, a product found contaminated with salmonella in June 2016.
A box of Telma Cocoman cereal, a product found contaminated with salmonella in June 2016.Credit: MySupermarket

After refusing for several days to say which batches of its Telma Cornflakes and Delipecan breakfast cereals were contaminated with salmonella, on Tuesday Unilever Israel published the production codes and dates of the affected products. They included Cocoman, a brand that was not mentioned in earlier reports.

Unliver Israel insists that the contamination was found in the course of routine testing in the factory and that none of the affected production batches left the plant. The multinational that owns the veteran Israeli food maker did not say which strain of salmonella was involved.

Supermarket chains reported that sales of Cocoman plunged 25% after Unilever Israel’s latest disclosure. They said total sales in the breakfast-cereal category fell by single-digit percentage points as a result of the affair.

People infected with salmonella often have no symptoms. Other develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, typically within eight to 72 hours after ingesting the bacterial. Most healthy people recover within a few days without specific treatment, but life-threatening complications can result if the infection spreads beyond the intestines.

Unilever Israel’s statement on Tuesday said in part: “Further to our prior statements and out of a desire to reassure our customers, we are providing the product details for Telma cereals packed on the packaging line on which the contamination was found about a month ago. These products were halted for sale and did not reach the stores and the consumers. We again stress that all Telma cereals on the [store] shelves and at home are safe to use.”

The Health Ministry said the release of the information follows a request that it made of Unilever after the ministry was contacted by the press on the matter. Unilever said the products and production dates of the contaminated products are as follows:

Alufim (“champions”) cornflakes: 750 gram packages, production dates of June 26 and 27, 2016, marked machine “B.”

Badatz kosher certified cornflakes: 750 gram packages, production dates of June 23 and 27 to 29, 2016, marked machine “B.”

Kokoman Tzedafim (“shells”): 750 gram packages, production dates of June 29-30, 2016, marked machine “B.”

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