What You Need To Know About The Kosher Candy Recall

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.

Strauss Israel product recall includes US market

Salmonella is a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans, animals, and birds. It spreads through contaminated food or water sources, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms, which can begin anywhere from six hours to six days after ingesting the contaminated item, include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. While it often resolves on its own, in some instances, serious illness can occur, particularly for the immunocompromised, infants, and the elderly.

The FDA, which has the full list of recalled products on their website, reports that the Tri-State region (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) as well as California and Florida are the primary distribution locations of the products in the United States. But they were sold directly to consumers via Amazon, Fresh Direct, Passover.com and other online retailers.

According to their website, Strauss Israel is the largest food and beverage company in Israel. They collaborate with a number of multinational food and beverage companies like PepsiCo and Danone. A publicly traded company, Strauss Israel employs 15,000 worldwide and boasted $8.7 billion in sales in 2021.

If you have purchased any of the recalled Strauss Israel items, the FDA stresses not to consume them. Customers should return the product to their point-of-purchase for a refund.