Update on Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to chocolate products
As of 3 June 2022, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control had identified 392 confirmed and probable cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) in EU and EEA countries and the UK. 122 cases have been confirmed in the UK.
This outbreak has been characterised by a high proportion of hospitalised cases (around 40%) and some cases having severe clinical symptoms, such as bloody diarrhoea.
Based on epidemiological and microbiological investigations, specific chocolate products from a Belgian chocolate factory have been identified as likely vehicles of infection. Affected cases were identified through advanced molecular typing techniques. As this method of testing is not routinely performed in all countries, some cases may be undetected.
The factory was closed on 8 April 2022 and product recalls were launched globally, with the aim of preventing the consumption of products potentially contaminated with Salmonella. As a result of control measures, the number of cases has started to decline.
Further investigations are being conducted by public health and food safety authorities in countries where cases are reported, to identify the cause and the extent of the contamination, and to ensure contaminated products are not put on the market.