The health ministry today assured that Kinder chocolate products in the country are safe following reports that 150 salmonella cases linked to the brand have been detected in nine European countries.
The ministry said data checks through the Food Safety Information System of Malaysia from 2021 until now showed that none of the products involved had entered the country.
“Information from the International Food Safety Authorities also confirms that the products in question were not exported to Malaysia,” it said in a statement issued by Mohd Salim Dulatti, the ministry’s senior director of food safety and quality.
“Most of the Kinder chocolates that enter Malaysia are imported from Poland, Italy, Germany, India, and a handful of other countries.”
Nonetheless, it said that it would boost its monitoring of Kinder chocolate products at the country’s entry points to ensure that none of the tainted products enter the local market.
As of April 8, 119 confirmed and 31 probable cases of salmonella had been reported in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
European authorities pointed to a Kinder chocolate factory in Belgium that had since been closed.
Italian confectionery giant Ferrero which owns the factory and also makes Nutella and Tic Tac candies meanwhile apologised for the spate of salmonella cases.
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause symptoms including diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps in humans, and is one of the most common food-borne infections.
Most cases are caused by the ingestion of food contaminated with animal or human faeces.