BELGIUM— Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has announced it has suspended production at its plant in Wieze, Belgium—the world’s largest chocolate factory—after a salmonella was detected in a batch of products.
The Switzerland-based group said it had “detected a salmonella positive production lot” at its plant in the town of Wieze on Monday. As a result, chocolate production at the facility “will remain suspended until further notice”.
Barry Callebaut supplies ingredients to some of the world’s major, consumer-facing, chocolate companies.
It is typically used as a way to decrease chocolate’s viscosity, making it easier to mold and temper.
The company added production will only resume after the investigation is complete and production lines are cleaned and disinfected. Belgium’s federal food safety agency, the FAVV-AFSCA, has opened an investigation.
“Barry Callebaut itself has decided to stop production at Wieze, and so have a number of customers. This is not an administrative decision by the FAVV-AFSCA” it said.
It is the latest in a series of Salmonella in chocolate incidents so far this year. Just months prior, an outbreak at a Ferrero chocolate factory was linked to more than 300 people falling sick across the world, leading FAVV-AFSCA to order the company to suspend operations at the facility in April.
Recently, the Kinder maker has been granted “conditional authorization” from Belgium’s food-safety body to reopen its salmonella-hit plant in Arlon.
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