Salmonella alert, chocolate cookies from several major brands removed from the shelves

“No contaminated product ended up in the food chain and therefore there was no product recall”the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) to AFP.

On June 27, traces of salmonella were discovered in a batch from the Barry Callebaut factory in Wieze, about thirty kilometers from Brussels.

The group had quickly stopped production and contacted its customers one by one to ensure that contaminated chocolate did not reach consumers.

Products removed from shelves

Among its clients, the American agrifood giant Mondelez International, which had to “limiting for several weeks the shelf availability of several ranges of biscuits (mainly Mikado, Petit Ecolier, Granola, Pepito, Pim’s)”he details in a press release Monday, August 29.

The Wieze plant, which is Barry Callebaut’s largest in the world, contributes around 15% of its production, calculated Daniel Bürki, analyst at the Cantonal Bank of Zurich.

Chocolate production at the Belgian factory began to resume in early August, after a six-week shutdown, with three lines out of 24 restarted, but cleaning operations continued on the other lines.

“The delivery of chocolate masses (…) with the specifications necessary for the manufacture of our biscuits has not yet returned to normal, which is currently delaying the production of certain references and thus causing them to be out of stock. “explains Mondelez International.

“Notable” impact

Based in Zurich, the world’s number one cocoa and chocolate preparations immediately halted production and blocked all products produced after June 25, avoiding the Kinder disaster scenario.

Since the beginning of April, more than 3,000 tonnes of Kinder products have been withdrawn from the market in France, where 81 cases of salmonellosis have been detected, mainly in children under ten years old.

Suspected of having been slow to react to a problem identified in December, Ferrero is the target of several legal investigations. This is “the biggest product recall of the last twenty years”admitted Ferrero’s managing director France in an interview with Parisian end of May, during which he announced economic losses of around “several tens of millions of euros”.

Barry Callebaut, which also supplies Unilever and Nestlé, expects an impact “notable” the temporary shutdown of its Belgian factory on its results for the last quarter.


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