Salmonella in Kinder products: what really happened in the factory according to Ferrero

Salmonella in Kinder products: what really happened in the factory according to Ferrero

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Ferrero’s Managing Director France spoke for the first time in an interview with Parisian this Thursday, May 26. “According to our investigations”, the contamination would come from “a filter located in a dairy butter tank” at the Arlon factory in Belgium and would have been caused “either by contaminated raw materials or by people” , according to him.

It is one of the largest product recalls of the past 20 years, with the “financial impact” of “several tens of millions of euros”. Nicolas Neykov, Managing Director France of Ferrero, returned for the first time this Thursday, May 26 to the millions of Kinder products withdrawn from the market after the detection of numerous cases of salmonellosis in Europe.

In an interview at Parisian published Thursday, Nicolas Neykov returned to the origin of the contaminations, which would come, “according to our investigations”, “from a filter located in a dairy butter vat” of the Arlon factory in Belgium and would have been caused “either by contaminated raw materials or by people”, according to him.

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Salmonella in Kinder: a mother files a complaint against Ferrero following the hospitalization of her two-year-old son

The factory in Arlon, in the Belgian Ardennes, where the Kinder products in question come from, was shut down in early April. All products produced on this site (Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise Maxi 100g and Kinder Schoko-Bons) have been recalled.

The group, criticized for not having closed this factory on December 15, the date on which salmonella was detected for the first time, is defending itself today. “On December 15 (…) we stop all the production lines, we close the factory, we throw away what has been manufactured,” he explains. “All of our tests carried out in the following days are negative, which then allows us to reopen the factory,” he explains. “At that time, we are absolutely certain that no contaminated product has been put on the market. What happened after? The investigation will tell,” said Nicolas Neykov, while Belgian justice opened a judicial investigation in April.

The general manager explains that “it was only on April 2 that the English authorities established a statistical correspondence with the consumption of Kinder surprise”, pushing the group to recall its products in Great Britain and then in France the next day.

Loss of 40% of turnover

The financial impact for the group is major. It “will be around several tens of millions of euros”, announces Nicolas Neykov, the general manager. Over the Easter period alone, a high point for the Italian manufacturer, the brand lost 40% of its usual turnover.

The group now wants to restart production as soon as possible and has requested the reopening of its Belgian factory from June 13. The group, which has recognized failures, announces that 50% of health checks would now be carried out by an approved external laboratory while “for now” everything is based on an internal self-checking system.

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Contaminated Buitoni and Kinder pizzas: the Foodwatch France association files two complaints

On the judicial level, the consumer defense association Foodwatch France announced on May 19 the filing of a complaint in Paris after the contamination of Kinder chocolates. She simultaneously filed another against the Nestlé group and its range of Fraîch’Up pizzas, contaminated with the bacterium Escherichia coli.

The brand, loved by toddlers, estimates that “60% of consumers no longer have confidence”, says Nicolas Neykov who, launched in a reconquest campaign, wants to play the card of transparency.

As a reminder, since the beginning of April, more than 3000 tons of Kinder products have been withdrawn from the market in France where 81 cases of salmonellosis have been detected, mainly in children under ten years old.