Big retailer slams Cadbury for salmonella outbreak

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food standards agency Cadbury

Big retailer slams Cadbury for salmonella outbreak
Chocolate maker could face prosecutions

Sainsbury has launched a virulent attack on Cadbury for its handling of salmonella contamination at its Marlbrook chocolate crumb plant.

At a Society of Food Hygiene Technology seminar, Sainsbury's head of product safety Alec Kyriakides, said: "The Cadbury issue really annoys me because it shows the lack of respect that the food company has shown for the consumer. Anyone's failure to manage an issue reflects badly on the whole industry."

Kyriakides, who is also a member of the UK Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food, added: "I can't believe someone finds it acceptable to find salmonella in a ready-to-eat food - many companies will find it unpalatable. The objective is not to have anything [hazardous in your products]; whether you call it a 'high risk' or 'low risk' doesn't make any difference to consumers."

Meanwhile, Birmingham City Council food safety team leader Nick Lowe said that the council was still deciding whether to prosecute Cadbury for selling unsafe food and for failing to inform the competent authorities when it first became aware of the contamination in January. He added: "We could also prosecute them for the outbreak itself, although in a criminal case you'd have to prove that it was their fault beyond reasonable doubt."

Given that the Salmonella Montevideo National Outbreak Control Team had just concluded that consumption of Cadbury products was "the most credible explanation" for the recent outbreak of salmonella montevideo, this should be possible, said Lowe. Birmingham's discussions with the Food Standards Agency included the issue of when the seven products involved in the recall could go back on sale, he said.

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