One of the biggest chocolate factories in the world has temporarily shut its doors after discovering Salmonella in a production batch. On June 27, chocolate producer Barry Callebaut discovered Salmonella in a chocolate lot produced at its plant in Wieze, Belgium. The manufacturer supplies chocolate for both small chocolatiers and big-name brands, globally.
The company released a statement noting that the Belgian Food Safety Authority (FAVV) had been informed of the incident. “For Barry Callebaut, food safety is paramount,” the company said in the statement. The plant immediately halted all chocolate production lines as a precautionary measure and put a hold on all products manufactured since June 25, 2022.
According to the statement, the company’s food safety program has more than 230 colleagues working on food safety and quality in Europe and more than 650 worldwide and identified lecithin as the source of the contamination, adding that the internal investigation revlealed that no chocolate products affected by the Salmonella-positive production lot entered the retail food chain. “We are currently reaching out to all customers who may have received impacted products.”
The company has shared its findings with the FAVV and the plant will remain closed until the agency finishes its own investigation and analysis. All chocolate production lines in the Wieze plant will be cleaned and disinfected before production process resumes.