Over 100 chocolate, candy products recalled due to salmonella fears 

(NEXSTAR) – More than 100 candy and chocolate products made by Strauss Israel and sold in the United States are now under recall, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Salmonella was found in both the production line and in liquid chocolate at the Israeli factory that made the affected items, according to the FDA news release.

The FDA warns that the items could be infected with salmonella, which can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.

In infants, people 65 or older and people with weakened immune systems, salmonella may cause serious illness or even death.

Strauss Israel said the voluntary recall involves products sold in the kosher market across the country under the brand name Elite.

The sweets were primarily distributed in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Florida, but they were also sold straight to consumers via online vendors such as Amazon.com, Fresh Direct, Passover.com and all Retailer Online Sites.

The recall covers all U.S. product codes for the items, which include Elite Chocolate, Cakes, Wafers, Energy Grain Snacks, Energy Chocolate Rice Cakes, Chewing Gum and Toffee Candies.

Israeli health officials released a scathing report Sunday that accused the Strauss Group of a number of oversights and failures that may have contributed to the salmonella spread, according to the Times of Israel.

Among several issues that may have contributed to the salmonella danger, investigators said there had been an intrusion of pigeons into the facility, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Strauss Israel acknowledged that the birds did enter a liquid chocolate factory toward the end of March, but said in a statement on their website that the production line itself wasn’t exposed and someone was “immediately” called to remove the pigeons.

According to the report, no tests were done that might have linked bird droppings to the salmonella contamination.

The report also alleged the following infractions: making chocolate while the facility was undergoing maintenance,

failing to employ a food safety manager after replacing the quality-control team last year and not following milk thawing and storage guidelines that help prevent salmonella contamination.

“We’ve never dealt with an event like this and it’s the biggest recall in Strauss history,” Strauss Group chairperson Ofra Strauss said at a press conference on April 28, the Times of Israel reports.

“We will only open the factory when we are sure that everything is safe. I am the chairperson of the company and have been part of all the decisions over the past week. We have all been working hard throughout this week.”

As of Sunday, there were 21 possible salmonella cases in Israel that had links to Strauss Israel,

according to the Health Ministry. No illnesses had been reported in the U.S. as of publishing time, the FDA reports.