The world’s largest chocolate factory, Callebaut at Wieze in Belgium, has shut down after a salmonella outbreak. It identified lecithin, an emulsifier routinely used in making chocolates, as the source of the contamination.
The factory produces liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for 73 clients, such as Hershey, Mondelez, Nestle and Unilever. There have been no reports so far of any chocolate consumers infected by the salmonella, which causes salmonellosis, a disease that cause diarrhoea and fever.
The company is world number one in the sector, its annual sales amounted to 2.2 million tonnes during the 2020-2021 financial year. Over the past financial year, the group, which has a head office is in Zurich, generated a net profit of 384.5 million Swiss francs ($402 million) for 7.2 billion francs in turnover.
The group employs more than 13,000 people, has more than 60 production sites worldwide. The scare comes a few weeks after a case of chocolates contaminated with salmonella in the Ferrero factory in Arlon in southern Belgium manufacturing Kinder chocolates.
Belgian health authorities said on June 17 that they had given the green light to restart the Italian giant’s factory for a three-month test period. Share or comment on this article: Salmonella outbreak halts production at world’s largest chocolate factory in Belgium.