In the photo above, the advent calendar recalled by Lidl.  These were sold between October 5 and December 5 in the United States at the company's 177 stores.

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

FDA Warns Lidl Advent Calendars Sold in Nine States May Contain Chocolate Contaminated with SALMONELLA

  • Chocolate Advent calendars sold by Lidl recalled due to contamination
  • There have been no reports of illness yet due to schedules, Lidl said
  • But salmonella is dangerous for the young, the frail and the elderly, health experts warn

Thousands of Americans are expected to throw away their advent calendars early for fear of being contaminated with salmonella.

Lidl is recalling calendars sold in more than 170 east coast stores after routine tests detected the food poisoning virus. Customers who purchased Favorina brand calendars with cream filled chocolates are entitled to a full refund.

Salmonella causes fever, diarrhea and vomiting in most cases, but can be fatal in children and the elderly. For pregnant women, it can trigger early birth or miscarriage.

It comes after frozen raspberries were recalled because they may contain the ultra-infectious hepatitis virus which can cause liver failure.

In the photo above, the advent calendar recalled by Lidl.  These were sold between October 5 and December 5 in the United States at the company's 177 stores.

Above is the back of the Advent calendar, which is filled with creamy chocolates that may be contaminated with salmonella

In the photo above, the advent calendar recalled by Lidl. These were sold between October 5 and December 5 in the United States at over 170 company stores.


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 in raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs because the cooking process kills insects.

Faeces can enter raw meat and poultry during the butchering process, while seafood can be contaminated if harvested from contaminated water.

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

Symptoms include:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • diarrhea
  • being sick (vomiting)
  • stomach cramps
  • a high temperature of 38C or more
  • generally feeling unwell – such as feeling tired or having aches and chills

Lidl announced the voluntary recall after notifying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). No illness reports have been received so far, he added.

But customers are welcome to return the calendars for a full refund.

The calendars bear Lidl’s Favorina logo, are decorated with a snowy Christmas scene and contain 25 cream-filled chocolates.

They are also identifiable by their barcode number on the back of the packaging: 4056489516965.

The German supermarket did not specify how salmonella could have entered the chocolates.

But previous contaminations were due to inadequate sanitary facilities and dirty machinery.

Salmonella lives in the entrails of animals and is excreted through their feces.

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

Lidl has not offered to replace the calendars, although it is already the eighth day of December.

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

A Lidl spokesperson said: “Lidl US considers the health and safety of its customers to be its top priority.

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

They added: “Lidl US regrets any inconvenience related to this voluntary recall, which is being issued in accordance with our concern for the health and safety of customers.”

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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