The Swiss group Barry Callebaut, the world leader in the preparation of cocoa and chocolate, said on Thursday, June 30, that it had stopped the production of chocolate at its factory in Wiese (Belgium) after the discovery of salmonella in a batch.
The presence of bacteria was detected on Monday “in a production batch made in Wiez”. “Our quality experts have identified lecithin as the source of contamination”explains the wholesaler in a press release.
A spokesman told Agence France-Presse “most of the contaminated products are still in the Wieze factory” and that the group has just contacted its 73 customers (large manufacturers, artisans) to ensure that “no contamination at consumer level”.
Barry Callebaut informed the Belgian health authorities, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) and “shut down all its chocolate production lines in Wiese as a precautionary measure”.
“All chocolate products made in Wiez after June 25th have been blocked”supplies the company that specifies it “all chocolate production lines will be cleaned and disinfected before resuming production”. The factory is located about thirty kilometers northwest of Brussels.
The FASFC visited the site and announced that it had launched an investigation “collect all information to trace contamination”.
“Food safety is of the utmost importance to Barry Callebaut and this contamination is quite exceptional. We have a well-defined food safety charter and procedures”assures the group.
This announcement comes a few weeks after the case of chocolates contaminated with salmonella at the Ferrero factory in Arlon (southern Belgium), where Kinder chocolates are produced. Belgian health authorities announced on June 17 that they had authorized the restart of the Italian giant’s factory for a three-month trial period.
The Swiss Barry Callebaut group supplies cocoa and chocolate preparations to many companies in the food industry, from industry giants such as Hershey, Mondelez, Nestlé or Unilever to confectionery professionals.