Belgian authorities investigate: Salmonella alarm paralyzes the chocolate factory

The Belgian authorities are investigating
Salmonella alarm paralyzes the chocolate factory

Ferrero just had a salmonella scandal hidden behind him when the Belgian food control authority is out again: this time the diarrhea germs are found at Swiss chocolate wholesaler Barry Callebaut. German customers may also be interested.

Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut found salmonella at a factory in Wieze, Belgium. Production was stopped and delivery stopped, as announced by the Swiss company. The company is a leading global supplier of chocolate and cocoa products. They are supplied to commercial customers for further processing, which is why the “Barry Callebaut” brand is less well known.

Salmonella bacteria, which can cause severe diarrhea, were found in lecithin, which is used in all of its products, according to the company on Monday. The Belgian food safety authority FAVV was immediately informed. The company assumes that the few quantities delivered since Monday have not yet been processed and sold to customers anywhere, company spokesman Frank Keidel said. The investigation was still ongoing.

Barry Callebaut supplies for example pastry shops, bakeries, catering and beverage producers. The company, with over 12,000 employees in more than 40 countries, defines itself as the world’s leading producer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products. The Wieze plant also supplies German customers. The company did not say whether any of the tainted chocolate mass was delivered to Germany. The factory will be cleaned and disinfected. It should take a few days, Keidel said.

Ferrero with parole after the cover-up attempt

Following the international recall of “Kinder” brand chocolate products, confectionery manufacturer Ferrero was cleared to reopen its factory in Arlon, Belgium in mid-June. After several checks, the Belgian supervisory authority Afsca granted the company conditional approval for only three months, as Afsca said it would review all internal processes in the coming months.

The Ferrero plant was forced to close in early April after hundreds of salmonella cases in Europe were linked to the sweets produced there. It was later discovered that salmonella had already been found there in December, but that Ferrero did not initially notify the authorities. “We are truly sorry for what happened and would like to apologize again to all those affected,” said the company.

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