HomeHealthWorld's Largest Chocolate Factory Shut Down Due to Salmonella Outbreak

World’s Largest Chocolate Factory Shut Down Due to Salmonella Outbreak

Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has shut down production in the Belgian town of Wieze—which is the biggest chocolate factory in the world—due to cases of salmonella food poisoning. 

Salmonella is a common bacterial infectious disease that affects the intestinal tract. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food.

The Swiss conglomerate supplies cocoa and chocolate products to many companies in the food industry, including industry giants such as Hershey, Mondelez, Nestle, and Unilever.

“Barry Callebaut informed the Belgian food authorities (FAVV) about the incident and has taken the precautionary measure to stop all chocolate production lines and to block all products manufactured since the time of testing.

“We are currently reaching out to all customers who may have received impacted products. The chocolate production in Wieze will remain suspended until further notice,” it said on its website.

Lecithin was identified as the source of the contamination by quality experts at the company. Customers were immediately requested to block any shipped products.

World number one in the sector, its annual sales amounted to 2.2 million tonnes during the 2020-2021 financial year. However, the company’s shares fell 2.6% by 1150 GMT.

Since the Wieze plant does not make chocolates to be sold directly to consumers, the firm has no reason to believe that contaminated products have yet made it onto store shelves.

The scare comes a few weeks after a case of chocolates contaminated with salmonella in the Ferrero factory in Arlon in southern Belgium manufacturing Kinder chocolates.

Barry Callebaut’s seemingly transparent communication is quite different from the way a similar incident was handled by Ferrero handled in April this year. 

Ferrero also shut down a Belgium-based chocolate factory over salmonella, but played down the risks and also declined to comment to the media about the cases. The factory was eventually reopened in mid-June.

Also Read: Viral Video: Inseparable Kitties Can’t Help Bumping into Each Other

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