The Israel-based confectioner Strauss Israel issued a voluntary recall of items in its Elite-branded line, according to the FDA. The recall includes chocolate, cakes, wafers, chewing gum, and toffee candies, as well as items in their Energy line, including their grain snacks and chocolate rice cakes.
The voluntary recall comes after salmonella was detected in the production facility in Nof HaGalil, in Israel’s northern district, on April 19, which kicked off a recall of their chocolate items (via The Times of Israel). Further testing confirmed on April 24 that bacteria was found in their raw materials as well as on the production line, which triggered the removal of more products from store shelves, as reported by Food Safety News. On April 27, after checking 270 samples, testing found salmonella in two chocolate products that were ready to be shipped to stores.
The The Times of Israel further reports that Nachman Ash, Israel’s Health Ministry director-general, made the decision to shutter the factory, and at least three people were hospitalized due to the tainted product. While the origin of the contamination remains under investigation, the chairperson of the Strauss Group, Ofra Strauss, cited pigeons, which were found in the factory during recent renovation, as a possible source.