Barry Callebaut restarts salmonella factory

Barry Callebaut will resume production at his factory in Belgium that was involved in a salmonella contamination incident starting next month.

The cleaning of chocolate lines affected by lecithin-positive Salmonella at the Wieze factory, the company said, is going well.

Lines that were cleaned up in early August should be restarted, gradually increasing to full capacity over the following weeks.

One batch of contaminated lecithin was unloaded at the Wieze plant on June 25. Barry Callebaut confirmed that Salmonella Tennessee was identified in the plant’s lecithin system and in samples of the delivered subjects. This batch came from a lecithin plant in Hungary and was transported by a third party. Only the lecithin included in this site has been used.

The National Food Chain Safety Office (Nébih) in Hungary has examined the lecithin supplier, examined processing methods, documentation and took official samples. Based on follow-up investigations, the affected items have not been shipped to other carriers. Local media called this company The Vandamme Group.

Prohibited before public sale

On June 27, Barry Callebaut detected positive salmonella in a production batch manufactured in Wieze and lecithin was identified as a source of contamination on June 29.

Lecithin is used in all of Wieze’s chocolate production lines, so the company decided to stop operations and halt all chocolate products manufactured from June 25 to 29, except for cocoa production not associated with the lecithin circuit.

On July 1, Barry Callebaut confirmed that, based on his internal investigations, no products affected had entered the retail food chain. No chocolates implicated by the company were ever exported outside of Europe.

Affected countries include Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, according to the RASFF warning.

Barry Callebaut reported the incident to the Belgian Food Authority. The Federal Food Chain Safety Agency (FASFC) was to the site as part of an investigation.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.