Millions of Kinder products, representing more than 3,000 tonnes, have been withdrawn from the market in France following numerous cases of salmonellosis in Europe, CEO France Ferrero said in an interview with Parisian, published on Thursday 26.
“This crisis hurts our hearts.” This is the largest product download in the last 20 years. And it concerns the popular brand of the French “, regretted Nicolas Neykov, who is speaking for the first time since the start of the health scandal. In mid-April, 150 cases of salmonellosis were detected in nine European countries, including 81 cases in France, mainly in children under 10 years of age.
“According to our investigations”contamination would come from “filter placed in a milk butter vat” Arlon plant in Belgium and would be caused “either contaminated raw materials or humans”, according to him. Asked about the presence of salmonella in a Belgian factory in December, the general manager of Ferrero France states that the factory was then closed, cleaned and everything that was produced there was thrown away:
All our tests performed in the following days are negative, which allows us to reopen the factory. At the time, we were absolutely certain that no contaminated product had been placed on the market. What happened next? The investigation will show.
40% of turnover was lost during the Easter period
A health scandal would cause a loss “40% of turnover” groups during the Easter season.
The Arlon plant in the Belgian Ardennes, where the Kinder products in question originated, was closed in early April. All products made on this site (Kinder Surprise, Kinder Mini Eggs, Kinder Surprise Maxi 100g and Kinder Schoko-Bons) have been withdrawn. “We have requested a reopening from June 13 to resume production as soon as possible.”specifies the CEO of Ferrero France.
Mr Neykov also announced that from now on 50% of health checks will be “manufactured by an approved external laboratory”. So far, everything is based on an internal self-monitoring system.
The group presented the plan on May 4 to the Belgian health authorities, and the factory’s 1,000 employees work seven days a week after reopening. One by one, ten thousand parts are disassembled and cleaned. The leader repeated the apologies already made by the group and acknowledged the failure.