Although numerous Kinder products in at least 10 European Union countries and the UK have been linked to a Salmonella outbreak, in Turkiye, there have been no reported cases attributed to the chocolate so far.
On Tuesday, the Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Ministry's food section announced that Schoko Bons, a chocolate product of the Kinder brand, will be recalled due to potential Salmonella contamination.
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that affects the intestinal tract, and some types cause disease in humans and animals. The symptoms of Salmonella infections may be mild, self-limited, or even fatal, especially among young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, said Dr Necla Tulek, a clinical microbiology and infectious diseases specialist.
Typically, most infections associated with Salmonella are not super-serious cases.
"Common symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and nausea, which develop within six to 72 hours after being infected. Vomiting is less common," Tulek said.
Mostly, the illness is resolved without specific treatment after two to seven days. Tulek added that a diagnosis can be made by microbiological examinations and bacteria culture tests from the stool and, if necessary, other samples.
The ministry announced earlier that all Kinder products will be tested against Salmonella amid potential contamination concerns.
Cause of Salmonella
Salmonella bacteria are among the most common causes of diarrhea in humans worldwide, and they mainly cause foodborne outbreaks. The specialist said that hundreds of millions of people are infected with Salmonella every year.
The bacteria can contaminate eggs, chicken, water, milk, milk products, beef, fruit, vegetables and dairy products.
The last Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak, in which cases were detected in many European countries, was associated with chocolate products made in Belgium and affected more than 150 people, most of them children, she said.
So far, there have been no reported cases related to chocolate-linked Salmonella contamination in Turkiye, she added.
Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines. The most common sources of infection are poultry and cattle consumed as food.
The illness is transmitted to humans most frequently by consuming foods of animal origin such as eggs and milk, which are contaminated with bacteria without being well cooked, she said, adding it also spreads to people through contaminated vegetables, fruit juices and contaminated poorly chlorinated water.
Stressing that many different animals and pets can carry these infections, she said: "Contact with an infected animal or their feces are also among the transmission routes. Domestic turtles and other pets can also transmit it."
She went on to say that fecal-oral transmission – an indirect contact route through contaminated food or water – can spread from infected people to other people.
Control measures must be taken at every stage of the food chain, from production to processing to home preparation, to prevent the illness, Tulek underlined.
"Pasteurized or well-boiled milk and dairy products should be used. Food should be well cooked. Foods of animal origin should not be consumed raw. Vegetables and fruits should be well washed with chlorinated water," she added.
Raw and cooked foods should be kept separately in the kitchen, and kitchen surfaces should be clean.
Stressing the importance of hand cleaning, she said hands should be washed with soap and water before and after eating and before and after using the toilet. Also, hand cleaning should be done after contact with all animals, even pets.
Hygiene rules should be followed and hands should be washed after contact with foods such as raw meat, she added.
A Salmonella outbreak at the Ferrero factory in Arlon, Belgium, earlier this month prompted Kinder to recall its products from various countries.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.