Unclear on number if illnesses so far – press reports between 3-4 – mostly children
The Ministry of Health wishes to clarify the sequence of events:
- On 19.4.22 the first results were received from the manufacturer. These results were received as part of routine testing and showed traces of salmonella in the manufacturing area, but not in food products sampled from the factory that have not yet been shipped. Therefore, the manufacturer was instructed to carry out more extensive testing on the manufacturing area, products and raw materials.
- On 21.4.22, during the evening hours, reports were received of non-definitive results indicating Salmonella contamination in the raw material. These results are the result of a rapid test rather than a full lab test which takes approximately 5 days. Therefore, the manufacturer was not required to issue a recall.
- Yesterday afternoon (24.422), the manufacturer approached the Ministry of Health with the final results of the tests, revealing salmonella contamination in the manufacturing area and in the raw material.
- Following receipt of the final raw material and manufacturing area test results, the manufacturer has issued a voluntary recall in coordination with the Department of Health Food Service for all chocolate products manufactured since early February.
- It should be noted that final test results have not yet been received for the sampled chocolate products currently sold in stores. That is to say: these recalls are an added precaution, until final results are received for chocolate products tomorrow (27.4.22).
- Following the Strauss-Elite recall, other food manufacturers that use the same raw materials as Strauss-Elite in their products are issuing additional recalls.
Additionally, a wide range of additional products are being sampled for testing, in coordination with our ministry.
Our ministry has ordered the manufacturer to file an investigation report on the cause of this incident and to take corrective measures to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future.
The resumption of routine manufacturing activities will be possible after the completion of the investigation of this incident, the completion of corrective actions to prevent such incidents from recurring, the cleaning and disinfection of manufacturing lines and after the inspection and receipt of normal test results by our department.
Consumer advice is consistent with recall announcements made in the media and on the Department of Health website.
The Department of Health continues to closely monitor and investigate this incident, and further action will be taken based on the findings of the investigation.
The Ministry of Health will continue to take all measures at its disposal to maintain product safety and Israeli public health.
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