Barry Callebaut’s salmonella-hit factory to restart production in August
“The cleaning of the chocolate lines affected by the entry of salmonella-positive lecithin the factory in Wieze, Belgium, is progressing well,” the Group said in a statement.
“As a result, the first cleaned chocolate lines are foreseen to restart production as of early August 2022, with a gradual ramp-up to full capacity over the following weeks.”
As reported in this publication, Barry Callebaut detected 'a salmonella-positive chocolate production lot' on 27 June at its facility and quickly identified a lecithin batch from a supplier as the root cause.
In response, Barry Callebaut halted all chocolate production, as a precautionary measure, which prevented affected chocolate products from entering the retail food chain.
Barry Callebaut said it duly and proactively informed the Belgian Food Safety Authorities (FAVV) and is in continuous collaboration with them on this incident.
“Food Safety is paramount for the Group and this is an 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,” it said in a statement.
The shutdown of Barry Callebaut's main chocolate factory, followed an earlier salmonella outbreak at Ferrero's plant in Arlon, also in Belgium.
Ferrero was forced to recall Kinder products in April 2022. Last month, the Belgium food safety authority (AFSCA) issued a 'conditional' authorisation for three months at the plant for production to resume.