Festive food poisoning as Lidl recalls chocolate advent calendars over salmonella fears

FDA warns Lidl advent calendars sold in nine states may contain chocolate tainted with SALMONELLA

  • Chocolate advent calendars sold by Lidl are being recalled due to contamination
  • Lidl said there are no reports of illness yet due to calendars.
  • But health experts warn that salmonella is dangerous for the young, weak and old

Thousands of Americans should throw off their advent calendars early for fear they could be contaminated with salmonella.

Lidl is recalling calendars sold at more than 170 stores on the East Coast after routine tests found the food poisoning bug. Customers who purchase Favorina-branded calendars with cream-filled chocolates are entitled to a full refund.

Salmonella causes fever, diarrhea and vomiting in most people, but it can be fatal in children and older adults. For pregnant women, it can trigger preterm labor or miscarriage.

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Frozen raspberries come after being recalled as they may contain the ultra-infectious hepatitis virus that can cause liver failure.

The image above is the advent calendar recalled by Lidl.  These were sold at the company's 177 stores in the US between October 5 and December 5.

Shown above is the reverse of the advent calendar filled with creamy chocolates that may be contaminated with salmonella.

The image above is the advent calendar recalled by Lidl. These were sold in the company’s more than 170 stores in the US between October 5 and December 5.

WHAT IS SALMONELLA?

Salmonella is a type of bacterial infection often described simply as ‘food poisoning’.

Salmonella bacteria live in the intestines of farm animals and are excreted in their feces.

Most people become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces.

It is most common on raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, as the cooking process kills insects.

Raw meat and poultry can be contaminated with faeces during the butchering process, while seafood can become contaminated if collected from contaminated water.

Transmission can also occur when food is prepared by people who do not wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet, changing a diaper, or touching contaminated food themselves.

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Symptoms include:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • diarrhea
  • to be sick (vomit)
  • abdominal cramps
  • High temperature of 38C or above
  • generally not feeling well – such as feeling tired or having pain and chills

Lidl announced the voluntary recall after notifying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She said that no disease reports have been received to date.

However, customers are requested to return calendars for a full refund.

The calendars are stamped with Lidl’s Favorina logo, adorned with a snowy Christmas scene and feature 25 cream-filled chocolates.

They can also be identified by the barcode numbers on the back of the packaging: 4056489516965.

The German supermarket did not say how salmonella might have gotten into the chocolates.

But earlier pollution was due to inadequate sanitation and dirty machinery.

Salmonella lives in the intestines of animals and is transmitted through their feces.

It can then contaminate food and water before being swallowed by humans.

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Lidl did not offer to change the calendars, although it was the eighth day of December.

The nine states in which Lidl operates are: Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. Stores also opened in Washington, DC

A Lidl spokesperson said: “Lidl US takes the health and safety of its customers as its top priority.

‘If customers have purchased this product, they should not consume the product and return it immediately to the nearest Lidl store for a full refund.’

They added: “Lidl US regrets any inconvenience with this voluntary recall issued in line with our focus on customer health and safety.”

The German supermarket sold the calendars in stores between October 5 and December 5.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that salmonella bacteria cause approximately 1.35 million infections in the United States each year, including 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths.

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