Strauss expands recall as 10-year-old hospitalized with salmonella

"We will not take any risk and will bear all the costs as is expected of us," said the company as all Elite, Energy, gum and toffee products are recalled.

 Illustrative image of an Elite chocolate bar.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Illustrative image of an Elite chocolate bar.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Strauss has expanded a recall announced earlier this week to all Elite, Energy, gum and toffee products after traces of salmonella were found on production lines.

An expanding crisis

All Elite chocolates, cakes and wafers, Energy cereal bars and chocolate-covered rice cakes and all Strauss chewing gum and toffees will be removed from store shelves regardless of the expiration date.

Strauss said it would reset the operations at its confectionery factory and restart operations after the issues are fixed. The company found two samples that are suspected of being salmonella from two chocolate products that were returned as part of the recall, out of 270 samples taken.

“We will not take any risk and will bear all the costs as is expected of us,” the company said. “All other products from the group are safe to consume.”

On Wednesday, a 10-year-old boy was diagnosed with salmonella after being hospitalized with severe dehydration as a result of extensive vomiting and diarrhea.

 Salmonella bacteria, a common cause of foodborne disease, invade an immune cell. (credit: NIAID/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS) Salmonella bacteria, a common cause of foodborne disease, invade an immune cell. (credit: NIAID/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Salmonella found in 11 countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said a salmonella outbreak reported in the UK on March 27 was linked to chocolate produced by the Ferrero Corporate plant in Arlon, Belgium, which has been distributed to at least 113 countries.

A global alert has been released by the International Food Safety Authorities Network, initiating a global product recall. So far, a total of 151 genetically related cases suspected to be linked to the consumption of the relevant chocolate products have been reported from 11 countries.

The affected countries are Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US. It was still unclear if the outbreak in Israel is linked to the outbreak in Europe, although Israel was listed as one of the countries where the affected chocolate was distributed.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, the salmonella outbreak strain is resistant to six types of antibiotics: penicillins, aminoglycosides (streptomycin, spectinomycin, kanamycin and gentamicin), phenicols, sulfonamides, trimethoprim and tetracyclines.

The WHO said the risk of the outbreak spreading globally was assessed as moderate until the information is available on the full recall of the implicated products. Information concerning the severity of the disease caused by this strain of salmonella is still limited.