The manufacturer – which supplies liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for the likes of Mondelez, Nestle and Unilever – said cleaning of its contaminated chocolate lines was progressing well and expected the first lines to be up and running early next month.
This would be followed by a gradual ramp-up to full capacity over the followiong weeks.
A spokesman for the chocolate manaufacturer said: “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.
Identifying the risks
“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 announced that it had suspended production at the Wieze site until further notice and blocked all products manufactured since the time of testing (June 25). It identified a lecithin batch from a supplier as the root cause.
Mondelez said it had temporarily stopped production lines in some impacted plants as a precautionary measure, but were able to restart production in all but one bakery site very soon after.
The Barry Callebaut plant in Weize, reported to be the largest chocolate factory in the world, was the second chocolate production site to be hit by salmonella this year.
In April. Ferrero began recalling Kinder products that were linked to an outbreak of salmonella at its Arlon, Belgium plant. However, this incident was separate from the one experienced by Barry Callebaut.
A spokesman for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control told Food Manufacture: “Based on available information, the incident in Barry Callebaut chocolate factory is different from the one related to the plant in Belgium.
“We have been informed that the serotype is very different and the finding has been confirmed in a different raw material/ingredient than that in that outbreak.”