Salmonella halts production at chocolate factory

Salmonella has halted production at the Barry Callebaut plant in Wieze, Belgium, one of the world’s biggest chocolate factories. Salmonella contaminations were found in a production lot on Monday, the chocolate maker reported on Thursday. The factory produces liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for 73 clients that make confectionery, some of these big name clients include Nestle, Hershey and Unilever, among many others.

Quoting from Barry Callebaut’s website, “Barry Callebaut informed the Belgian food authorities (FAVV) about the incident and has taken the precautionary measure to stop all chocolate production lines and to block all products manufacture since the time of testing. The chocolate production in Wieze will remain suspended until further notice.”

Experts identified lecithin as the source of the contamination. Lecithin is used in all chocolate production so the company have taken the precautionary measure to stop all production lines and block all products manufactured since the time of testing, while they continue the root cause analysis and risk assessment. Out of precaution they have asked their customers to block any shipped products. All products manufactured since the test have been blocked, and most of the products discovered to be contaminated were still on the site.

The company have said that 72 of the 73 companies had confirmed they had halted deliveries of potentially contaminated chocolate in time to prevent any reaching the shops and were waiting for a response from the final client. There have been no reports as of yet of any chocolate consumers being exposed to salmonella. Salmonella causes salmonellosis, a disease that causes diarrhoea and fever but is dangerous only in the most extreme cases.

We will continue reporting on this case if there are any advancements.


Update: Barry Callebaut are happy to announce that no affected chocolate products entered the retail food chain.


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Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920


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