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30th Jun 2022

Salmonella found in world’s biggest chocolate factory stopping production

Kieran Galpin

The company does not believe that contaminated products are on the shelves

Production has been forced to stop at the world’s biggest chocolate factory after salmonella bacteria was discovered and may be in circulation.

The factory, located in the Belgian town of Wieze, produces liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for over 70 clients, including Hershey, Nestle, Unilever and Mondalez, all of which produce brands you are no doubt familiar with.

A spokesperson for the factory’s owners, Barry Callebaut,  said customers who could have received contaminated chocolate will be contacted.

“All products manufactured since the test have been blocked,” he said. “Chocolate production in Wieze remains suspended until further notice.”

Barry Callebaut

The spokesperson maintained that most of the contaminated product is still on site, despite contacting all its clients and requesting they don’t ship out products made with chocolate since June 25. Belgium’s food safety agency AFSCA is aware of the situation, and told AFP that they have opened an investigation.

While the chocolate was sold to customers, the company does not believe contaminated goods have made their way to supermarket shelves.

Earlier this month, Cadbury reported a shortage of their iconic flakes days before a blistering heatwave. Mondelez International, Cadbury’s parent company, said supply chain disruptions and customer demand had caused the shortage.

Via UnSplash

“In line with what many other companies are reporting, we are experiencing some global supply chain disruptions, alongside a recent increase in demand for the product in the UK and Ireland above the levels that we agreed with our customers at the start of the year,” they said. “This means we are experiencing some short-term stock challenges on Flake 99.”

They added: “We are working, and will continue to work hard, to resolve the situation, and are working closely with our direct distributive customers to manage stock allocation fairly based on initial forecasts.”

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