A chocolate advent calendar sold at Lidl grocery stores as recently as Monday is under voluntary recall over concerns it may be contaminated with salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration announced this week.
Lidl — which operates more than 170 stores across nine East Coast states and Washington, D.C. — says the issue was discovered during routine testing of its 8.4 ounce Favorina-branded advent calendar (premium chocolate with a creamy filling).
The affected calendars, sold between Oct. 12 and Dec. 5, have a 2023 “best if used by” date and a barcode number of 4056489516965.
The house-shaped packaging features Santa Claus sitting in a gift-loaded sleigh as elves dance around him in front of a mansion.
The FDA warns that people infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. More severe illnesses, such as endocarditis and arthritis, can occur in rare circumstances if the infection gets into the bloodstream, according to the FDA.
Lidl said in a statement it had not received any reports of illnesses related to the advent calendars as of Tuesday.
The supermarket chain said shoppers can return the product to one of its stores for a refund even without a receipt. For more information about the recall, reach out to customer service at (844)-747-5435 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET everyday except Sunday.
This isn’t the first chocolate-salmonella scare this year. In April, Belgian health authorities ordered Italian confectionery group Ferrero to suspend production at its plant in Belgium after dozens of cases of salmonella were linked to the company’s Kinder chocolates.
Other recent salmonella concerns have been tied to peanut butter, tiny pet turtles and bearded dragons.