Doctors feared a little boy could have fallen into a coma after he was hospitalized with suspected salmonella poisoning from a Kinder egg.
Billy Way, aged three, was said to have ‘looked dead’ after he became violently ill after eating his brother’s Kinder Surprise chocolate last month.
Mum-of-two Kasey Cooke, from Barry, Wales, said doctors feared the worse for her son due to his dangerously low blood sugar levels, the Mirror reports.
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It comes after several Kinder products, including Kinder Surprise eggs, made at a plant in Belgium, were recalled over an outbreak of the potentially deadly bacteria.
The chocolate factory has been forced to close after investigators recorded more than 100 cases of salmonella, including 63 in the UK.
Kasey, 26, told The Mirror: “Billy loves Kinder Surprise eggs, he eats at least one a week. His older brother got a pack of three for his birthday and as he’s not a chocolate fan I gave one to Billy.
“He was excited to eat the chocolate and have the toy inside. But a few days later he started being sick a lot. He couldn’t keep anything down and couldn’t even hold his weight on his feet.
“I had to put a nappy on him as he couldn’t get up to use the toilet. I went to the GP out of hours and he was so severely ill they said go straight to hospital.
“They were worried he could have gone into a coma as his blood sugar was so low. It was terrible. It wasn’t worth it for an egg.”
The full-time mum said her son was admitted to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff, Wales, and kept on a drip for four days. She said: “When I sent my family a picture of him in hospital, their response was that he looked dead.
“He looked like he was dying, his mouth was dry, his face was pale and his eyes were black and sunken. He didn’t sit up for a week. He was so poorly and lifeless. They struggled for a couple of days to keep his blood sugar levels high as they kept dropping.
The mum has now vowed to never let Billy – or her five-year-old son Ajay – near a Kinder product again. She did not initially suspect the chocolate treat as the cause of Billy’s illness when he fell ill on April 1.
It was only when friends told her about the recall that she realized her symptoms matched salmonella poisoning. She added: “The doctors did stool samples and they found bacteria in his poo, which is why they thought it was salmonella.
“I think it’s careless that salmonella got into the eggs, especially when the main consumer of the product is kids.” European health officials reportedly believe the processing of buttermilk at the factory in Belgium may have been a possible cause of contamination.
Reacting to the news, Kasey said: “Even I check the milk before I put it in my coffee or on my cereal, why are they not checking it before putting it in chocolate?”
She has now sent chocolate giant Ferrero – which owns Kinder – an email demanding compensation for her son. The mum has yet to receive a response to her email from her, which she sent on Sunday.
She said: “I feel my son should be compensated, even if it’s just so I can take him away to Butlin’s. He spent almost a week in hospital and he’s lost weight as he didn’t eat any food for seven days.”
Billy was discharged from hospital on April 7 and he is now on the mend, although his mum fears the ordeal may have a lasting impact on him. She said: “When he asks for chocolate now he asks if it will make his tummy poorly.”
A Ferrero spokesperson told the Mirror: “We are very sorry to hear about Kasey Cooke’s son and our sincere thoughts are with her family at this time.
“With immediate effect, the entire production of Kinder Surprise 20g, Kinder Surprise 20g x 3 multipack, Kinder Mini eggs 75g, Kinder Egg Hunt Kit 150g, Kinder Surprise 100g and Kinder Schokobons (all pack sizes) which have all been made in Arlon, Belgium has been recalled.
“After a thorough investigation, the point of origin was identified to be a filter at the outlet of two raw material tanks. Materials and finished products were blocked and not released.
“The matter is currently being investigated together with food safety authorities. We deeply regret this matter and we continue to work closely with the food safety authorities to support their investigations.”