The Swiss group Barry Callebaut, supplier of cocoa and chocolate preparations to food professionals, announced on Friday July 1 that no contaminated chocolate has reached consumers, after the discovery of salmonella in its Belgian factory. by Wieze.
As soon as the bacteria was discovered, the site’s production was temporarily halted, its customers called and, following its investigations, the manufacturer confirmed that “none of the affected chocolate products” entered the chain up to the consumers, according to a press release.
The Swiss group supplies chocolate preparations to major agri-food groups such as Hershey’s, Mondelez, Nestlé and Unilever, as well as to biscuit factories, artisans and pastry professionals. The preparations can be used for the manufacture of chocolate bars or of drinks, biscuits, coating of ice creams or bakery products.
Products go through several stages before reaching consumers. The Swiss group has shared the results of its investigation with the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, the statement said.
Production of Wieze still suspended
Production at its Wieze plant, presented as the largest in the world, remains suspended until further notice, adds Barry Callebaut, who intends to continue his analyzes “carefully”. Once these are completed, the lines will be washed and disinfected before production can resume.
The presence of salmonella was detected on Monday in a batch from the Wieze factory. The band immediately halted production. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the group told Agence France-Presse that most of the contaminated products were still in the factory, but that the group, as a precaution, was contacting each of its customers to s ensure that there was “no contamination at the consumer level”.
Its quality experts identified lecithin as the source of the contamination. The discovery of salmonella in this factory was made a few weeks after a case of chocolates contaminated with salmonella in a factory of the Italian group Ferrero, the manufacturer of Kinder chocolates, on its site in Arlon, in the south of Belgium.