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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Finger points at Cadbury

26th July 2006

09072006_meltingchoc1.jpgThe Health Protection Agency (HPA) has said that Cadbury's chocolate was the most likely cause of the salmonella outbreak that affected dozens of people earlier this year.

Contaminated chocolate bars and Easter eggs were the "most credible explanation" for the rise in food poisoning cases in the spring and early summer, said the HPA. It is the first time that Cadbury has been officially linked to the outbreak.

The rare salmonella montevideo strain was discovered in chocolate crumbs during routine, internal tests at a Cadbury factory in Marlbrook, Herefordshire, in January, but  Cadbury concluded that there was no health risk and allowed the contaminated chocolate into the shops.

The HPA began investigating an unusual outbreak of salmonella montevideo, tracing the source back to Cadbury in June and one million products were withdrawn. 37 of the 56 cases of salmonella montevideo reported between March and July were identical to the bacteria found in Cadbury's confectionery.

Thirteen of the people infected in England and Wales could recall eating Cadbury products, another had eaten confectionery but could not remember which brand. Welsh authorities also reported that a salmonella victim had eaten a Cadbury's product. Since the recall, the number of cases of salmonella poisoning has fallen.

In a statement the agency said "The OCT [outbreak control team] concluded that consumption of products made by Cadbury Schweppes was the most credible explanation for the outbreak".

Cadbury blamed the contamination on a leaking pipe that has since been repaired. It declined to say whether it accepted responsibility for the outbreak.

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