Twenty-nine confirmed cases of Salmonella nima enterocolitis in Canada and four cases in the United States were traced to gold-foil wrapped chocolate coins from Belgium. Illness in Canadian cases occurred between September 1985 and October 1986 where the primary case in each of 24 affected families was a child ≤ 14 years of age. A product recall was issued on October 3, 1986 in Canada. Quantitative analysis of four composite samples of suspect chocolate by the most probable number (MPN) technique showed levels of 4.3 to 24.0 S. nima per 100 g product. These levels of contamination and consumption of approximately 25 g of chocolate by primary cases suggest that small numbers of S. nima precipitated clinical symptoms.

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Author notes

1Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Ontario, Canada.

*2Food Directorate, Health and Welfare Canada, Ontario, Canada

3Division of Laboratories, Vancouver, B.C.

4Field Operations Directorate. Health and Welfare Canada, Burnaby, B.C.