RTL Today – Salmonellosis in children: Ferrero informs about investigations in Arlon

Affected by the salmonellosis contamination of its Kinder chocolates, Ferrero wants to continue and takes stock of the health screening carried out at its Arlon factory.

That is “the largest product recall in the last twenty years”admits the managing director France von Ferrero, who has his say in a daily interview for the first time since the beginning of the health scandal, which has cost the manufacturer of children dearly financially and in terms of reputation The Parisian Thursday.

Since the beginning of April more than 3,000 tons of children’s products were withdrawn from the market in France where 81 cases of salmonellosis were detected, mainly in children under ten years old. Products were also recalled in Luxembourg where a case was uncovered.

“According to our investigations”, the contamination would come “of a filter in a milk butter vat” of the Arlon plant in Belgium and would have arrived “Either through contaminated raw materials or through people”according to Nicolas Neykov, the general manager.

Also read – A border mother shares the ordeal of her granddaughter infected with salmonellosis

ARLON FACTORY REOPENING POINTED

The factory in Arlon in the Belgian Ardennes, from which the children’s products in question originate, was Shutdown early April. All products manufactured on this site (Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise Maxi 100g and Kinder Schoko-Bons) have been recalled.

The group for being criticized had not closed that factory on December 15, the date Salmonella was first detectedShe’s defending herself today. “On December 15 (…) we stop all production lines, we close the factory, we throw away what is made”he explains.

“All our tests carried out in the following days are negative, which then allows us to reopen the factory.”he explains. “At this point we are absolutely certain that no contaminated product was placed on the market. What happened afterwards? The investigation will show.”says Nicolas Neykov, while the Belgian judiciary opened a judicial inquiry in April.

The group now wants to resume production as soon as possible and has requested the reopening of its Belgian factory from June 13th.. Recognizing shortcomings, the group announces that 50% of health checks are now carried out by an approved external laboratory “for now” Everything is based on an internal self-monitoring system.

Ferrero also submitted a plan to the Belgian health authorities on May 4, according to which 1,000 workers at the factory would work seven days a week when it reopened. 10,000 parts are disassembled and cleaned “One after the other”he specified.

FERRERO’S IMAGE DECORATED FOR A MOMENT

The group received over 150,000 claims for damages and 90% of those requests were “satisfied” says the managing director, in the form of discount vouchers for any food or children’s shopping vouchers, which means costs of less than two million euros for the group.

At the judicial level, the consumer protection association Foodwatch France announced on May 19 that it would file a lawsuit in Paris following the contamination of Kinder chocolates. At the same time, it filed another lawsuit against the Nestlé Group and its Fraîch’Up pizza range, which was contaminated with the bacterium Escherichia coli.

The financial implications for the group are significant. He “will be several tens of millions of euros”, announces Nicolas Neykov, the managing director. Over the Easter period alone, a peak for the Italian manufacturer, the brand lost 40% of its usual sales.

The brand loved by toddlers believes so “60% of consumers no longer trust”says Mr. Neykov, who, launched in a campaign to win back the country, wants to play the transparency card.

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