RIYADH — The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) said it was closely following the recall orders and warnings issued by global regulators for "Kinder Surprise" chocolate due to fears that it may have been contaminated by salmonella bacteria and may cause food poisoning.

After the United Kingdom withdrew batches of the chocolate, the SFDA has confirmed that in the event that any product has been withdrawn anywhere in the world, the authority would immediately verify the safety of the product coming to the Kingdom.

The SDFA confirmed that if any contamination is proven, it will take the appropriate action and inform the health authorities.

The British Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced that 57 people, most of them children, have suffered from food poisoning, after an outbreak of salmonella bacteria, possibly present in Kinder Surprise chocolate.

Italian confectionery group Ferrero recalled several batches of the egg-shaped Kinder Surprise chocolate and other products from Spanish shelves on Wednesday, after similar moves in Britain and Ireland on Monday.

"The outbreak is characterized by an unusually high proportion of children being hospitalized, some with severe clinical symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea," the European Center for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) said.

The European Union health agency said it was investigating, together with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 134 confirmed or probable cases of salmonella infection.

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