Barry Callebaut Wieze chocolate factory hit by salmonella contamination

Barry Callebaut said that its chocolate factory in Wieze, Belgium has been impacted by contamination with salmonella, however, the confectionery giant confirmed that the concerned production lot did not enter the retail food chain.

Since 25 June, all the chocolate products manufactured at the Wieze factory were put on hold, said the company.

Barry Callebaut said that as a precautionary step, it has suspended chocolate production at the factory while continuing to analyze the root cause and risk assessment of the salmonella contamination.

The company stated that its quality experts found lecithin to be the source of the contamination in the chocolate products. Lecithin is a widely used ingredient in chocolate production.

Barry Callebaut is said to have shared the details of its internal probe into the salmonella contamination with the Belgian Food Safety Authorities (FAVV) for assessment.

Barry Callebaut Wieze chocolate factory hit by salmonella contamination

Barry Callebaut Wieze chocolate factory hit by salmonella contamination. Photo courtesy of Emily McCracken/Wikimedia Commons.

In a statement, Barry Callebaut, said: “Food Safety is paramount for the Group and this is a very exceptional incident. Not only does Barry Callebaut have a Food Safety charter and procedure in place, but also over 230 colleagues working on food safety and quality in Europe and over 650 worldwide.

“At the site in Wieze, employees are trained to recognize food safety risks. This allowed the teams to quickly identify the risk and initiate the root cause analysis.”

Barry Callebaut said that until further notice, the production at the Wieze chocolate factory will continue to be suspended.

The confectionery giant plans to clean the chocolate production lines after its analysis and disinfect them before resuming the production process.

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