Multi-national epidemic outbreak of Salmonella linked to certain chocolate products




An outbreak caused by Salmonella Typhimurium monophasica is rapidly evolving in eight EU/EEA countries (European Economic Area) and the United Kingdom.



Until 8 April 2022, 142 cases were reported, mainly among children under 10 years of age.



The first was identified in the United Kingdom on 7 January 2022. Cases have also been identified in other European countries since 17 February 2022.


The epidemic is characterised by an unusually high percentage of children hospitalised, some with severe clinical symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea.



Based on patient interviews and initial analytical epidemiological studies, specific chocolate products have been identified as the likely route of infection.



The epidemic was linked to a factory in Arlon, Belgium.


The Belgian authorities have suspended all activities, the products manufactured there are being withdrawn and retailers are also invited to remove the products from their shelves.

So far, product recalls have been launched in other European countries, including France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, to prevent the consumption of potentially contaminated products.



Further investigations are ongoing by the health authorities to identify the cause and extent of the contamination and to ensure that contaminated products are not placed on the market.



The cases concerned have been identified through advanced molecular typing techniques. As this method is not performed routinely in all countries, some episodes may not be detected.



ECDC and EFSA are assessing the data available from these countries and a rapid evaluation of the epidemic to be published next week is being prepared.








EFSA ( - and - ecdc - investigate - multi - country - salmonella outbreak - linked - chocolate - products )


ECDC ( - events/epidemiological - update - monophasic salmonella - typhimurium - outbreak )


Epicentro ( ) IZS Lazio e Toscana ( - 2/ )





In literature



Numerous outbreaks of salmonellosis related to the consumption of chocolate products reported in the literature, among which we point out, only for example:


Mary Rao ,  Sandeep Tamber- Microbiological analysis of frozen profiteroles and mini chocolate eclairs implicated in a national salmonellosis outbreak – Food Microbiology, 2021


Fernanda B. Campagnollo et al - A quantitative risk assessment model for salmonellosis due to milk chocolate consumption in Brazil – Food Control, 2020. !


Youngduck Eun et al -  A large outbreak of Salmonella enterica serovar Thompson infections associated with chocolate cake in Busan, Korea – Epidemiology and Health, 2019


Gill O.N.,et al - Outbreak of Salmonella napoli infection caused by contaminated chocolate bars – The Lancet, 1983 !








Source: IZSLT







Updated on 11 April 2022


Daniela Morelli

National Reference Centre for Risk Analysis
Armando Giovannini

Paolo Calistri

Statistics and GIS
Annamaria Conte



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