Dreaded Salmonella Found In World's Biggest Chocolate Factory. What We Know So Far

Salmonella bacteria have been discovered in the biggest chocolate factory in the world, following which production was stopped, news agency AFP reported. The factory, run by Swiss giant Barry Callebaut in the Belgian town of Wieze, produces liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for 73 clients making confectionaries.  Barry Callebaut is a Belgian-Swiss cocoa processor and chocolate manufacturer that has an average annual production of 2.2 million tonnes of cocoa and chocolate. Hershey, Mondelez, Nestle and Unilever are the multinational customers to which the plant supplies chocolate products. Barry Callebaut is the largest cocoa and chocolate company in the world. Salmonella was detected in a batch in the Wieze plant on June 26. What Are Salmonella? Salmonella are dreaded bacteria which cause infections such as salmonellosis, typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever. The bacteria were first discovered by American scientist Dr Daniel E Salmon in 1885.  Salmonella can cause diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps in the infected host. The bacteria are the most frequently reported cause of food-borne illnesses in the United States. All Products Manufactured Since Salmonella Was Detected In Plant Have Been Blocked According to an AFP report, Korneel Warlop, a company spokesperson said June 30 that all products manufactured since the test have been blocked. He also said that Barry Callebaut is currently contacting all customers who may have received contaminated products, and that chocolate production in Wieze remains suspended until further notice. He added that most of the products discovered to be contaminated are still on the site.  Clients Asked Not To Ship Products Made Using Chocolate Produced In Plant Since June 25 The Wieze plant is in Flanders, northwest of Brussels. All the firm's clients have been asked not to ship any products made using chocolate produced in the plant since June 25, the report said. The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA), Belgium's food safety agency, has been informed. The agency has opened an investigation.  According to the report, the Wieze plant does not make chocolates which are sold directly to consumers. Therefore, the firm believes that no contaminated goods made by clients have been sent to shops yet.  Similar Incidents Reported In The Past A few weeks before this incident, a case of chocolates contaminated with Salmonella was reported in the Ferrero factory in Arlon in southern Belgium. The factory manufactures Kinder chocolates. Following this incident in the Ferrero factory in Arlon, families in the United Kingdom were asked to throw out any Kinder Eggs they had at home due to Salmonella risk. As many as 70 children in the UK fell ill with food poisoning, an article published by Metro said.  On June 17, Belgian health authorities announced that they had given the green light to restart the chocolate factory in Arlon for a three-month test period. The samples of the salmonella strain discovered in the Ferrero factory matched those found in a separate factory in Belgium last year. Dame Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, had warned at that time that salmonella infection 'can be very severe and many children affected in this outbreak have been very unwell and hospitalised', the Metro report said. Barry Callebaut is the world number one in the chocolate sector. During the 2020-2021 financial year, the annual sales of Barry Callebaut amounted to 2.2 million tonnes. Barry Callebaut is headquartered in Zunich. The Swiss group generated a net profit of 384.5 million Swiss francs ($402 million) for 7.2 million francs in turnover, over the past financial year, the AFP report said. Barry Callebaut employs more than 13,000 people, and has more than 60 production sites worldwide.

Dreaded Salmonella Found In World's Biggest Chocolate Factory. What We Know So Far

Salmonella bacteria have been discovered in the biggest chocolate factory in the world, following which production was stopped, news agency AFP reported. The factory, run by Swiss giant Barry Callebaut in the Belgian town of Wieze, produces liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for 73 clients making confectionaries. 

Barry Callebaut is a Belgian-Swiss cocoa processor and chocolate manufacturer that has an average annual production of 2.2 million tonnes of cocoa and chocolate. Hershey, Mondelez, Nestle and Unilever are the multinational customers to which the plant supplies chocolate products. Barry Callebaut is the largest cocoa and chocolate company in the world.

Salmonella was detected in a batch in the Wieze plant on June 26.

What Are Salmonella?

Salmonella are dreaded bacteria which cause infections such as salmonellosis, typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever. The bacteria were first discovered by American scientist Dr Daniel E Salmon in 1885. 

Salmonella can cause diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps in the infected host. The bacteria are the most frequently reported cause of food-borne illnesses in the United States.

All Products Manufactured Since Salmonella Was Detected In Plant Have Been Blocked

According to an AFP report, Korneel Warlop, a company spokesperson said June 30 that all products manufactured since the test have been blocked. He also said that Barry Callebaut is currently contacting all customers who may have received contaminated products, and that chocolate production in Wieze remains suspended until further notice.

He added that most of the products discovered to be contaminated are still on the site. 

Clients Asked Not To Ship Products Made Using Chocolate Produced In Plant Since June 25

The Wieze plant is in Flanders, northwest of Brussels. All the firm's clients have been asked not to ship any products made using chocolate produced in the plant since June 25, the report said.

The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA), Belgium's food safety agency, has been informed. The agency has opened an investigation. 

According to the report, the Wieze plant does not make chocolates which are sold directly to consumers. Therefore, the firm believes that no contaminated goods made by clients have been sent to shops yet. 

Similar Incidents Reported In The Past

A few weeks before this incident, a case of chocolates contaminated with Salmonella was reported in the Ferrero factory in Arlon in southern Belgium. The factory manufactures Kinder chocolates. Following this incident in the Ferrero factory in Arlon, families in the United Kingdom were asked to throw out any Kinder Eggs they had at home due to Salmonella risk.

As many as 70 children in the UK fell ill with food poisoning, an article published by Metro said. 

On June 17, Belgian health authorities announced that they had given the green light to restart the chocolate factory in Arlon for a three-month test period.

The samples of the salmonella strain discovered in the Ferrero factory matched those found in a separate factory in Belgium last year.

Dame Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, had warned at that time that salmonella infection 'can be very severe and many children affected in this outbreak have been very unwell and hospitalised', the Metro report said.

Barry Callebaut is the world number one in the chocolate sector. During the 2020-2021 financial year, the annual sales of Barry Callebaut amounted to 2.2 million tonnes.

Barry Callebaut is headquartered in Zunich. The Swiss group generated a net profit of 384.5 million Swiss francs ($402 million) for 7.2 million francs in turnover, over the past financial year, the AFP report said.

Barry Callebaut employs more than 13,000 people, and has more than 60 production sites worldwide.