Lidl US is recalling advent calendars because the cream-filled chocolate inside may contain salmonella, a bacteria that sickens tens of thousands of Americans each year.
Salmonella was detected during routine testing of the products, Lidl said. The organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in the young, frail or elderly, as well in those with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with salmonella can experience fever, diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates salmonella bacteria causes about 1.35 million infections in the U.S. each year, including 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths.
The 8.4-ounce Favorina-branded seasonal items were sold at Lidl stores between Oct. 5 and Dec. 5, and have a “best-if-used-by” year of 2023, the German discount retailer said in a notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The recalled holiday calendars have a barcode number of 4056489516965.
People who purchased the recalled products should not eat the candy, but instead return it to a Lidl store for a refund. Those with questions can reach the company Monday through Saturday at (844) 747-5435 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Lidl operates more than 12,000 stores in 32 counties, including more than 170 stores in nine East Coast states and Washington, D.C. The states include Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.