World's largest chocolate factory shuts down over salmonella fears

An investigation has been launched after production was stopped at the Barry Callebaut plant in Belgium over contamination concerns.

World’s largest chocolate factory shuts down production over salmonella fears iStock
The plant manufactures chocolate for a host of leading brands.

Production has been halted at one of the world’s largest chocolate factories over concerns some produce may have been exposed to dangerous bacteria.

More than 70 companies say they have received contaminated batches of chocolate from the Barry Callebaut plant in Wieze, Belgium following the discovery of salmonella in the facility.

The Swiss firm, which manufactures liquid chocolate for some of the world’s most recognisable brands, said the vast majority of affected products were yet to be dispatched, adding all processing was “suspended until further notice”.

There have been no reports of customers feeling ill effects from the corrupted items.

“Food safety is of the utmost importance for Barry Callebaut and this contamination is quite exceptional. We have a well-defined food safety charter and procedure,” a spokesperson for the firm said.

“All products manufactured since the test have been blocked.

“Barry Callebaut is currently contacting all customers who may have received contaminated products.

“Production in Wieze remains suspended until further notice.”

Clients including the likes of Nestlé, Hershey and Unilever have been contacted and asked not to sell any products made after June 25 at the plant.

Another Belgian manufacturing facility in Arlon was previously at the centre of a mass product recall by the Ferrero factory that makes Kinder chocolate after they too tested positive for salmonella.