Barry Callebaut will restart operations of its chocolate factory in Belgium in early August, after being forced to close due to a salmonella outbreak at the location.

As detailed in a recent report, on 27 June, Barry Callebaut’s Belgian factory in Wieze closed its doors after a batch of lecithin – an ingredient widely used in chocolate production – was discovered to have been contaminated with salmonella. 

The company has since announced that they have made good progress with the decontamination process: 

The cleaning of the chocolate lines affected by the entry of salmonella-positive lecithin in the factory in Wieze, Belgium, is progressing well.

Spokesperson, Barry Callebaut

Full operations will not resume right away, however, with the company choosing to restart production on select lines to begin with. The first cleaned chocolate lines are foreseen to restart production as of early August 2022, with a gradual ramp-up to full capacity over the following weeks.”

Barry Callebaut confirmed that they informed the Belgian Food Safety Authorities (FAVV) of the outbreak immediately upon discovery, and are continuing to collaborate with them to resolve the issue.

Customers who may have received affected product batches have also been informed, in an attempt to reduce the spread to wider consumers.

Food Safety is paramount for the Group and this is an exceptional incident. Not only does Barry Callebaut have a Food Safety charter and procedure in place, but also over 230 colleagues working on food safety and quality in Europe and over 650 worldwide. At the site in Wieze, employees are trained to recognise food safety risks. This allowed the teams to quickly identify the risk and initiate the root cause analysis.

Spokesperson, Barry Callebaut

Barry Callebaut runs an estimated 60 production facilities globally, employing over 12,500 people and generating annual sales of approximately USD$7.9billion.

Photo by Barry Callebaut

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