Belgian chocolate producer Neuhaus has suspended its production following the announcement by chocolate brand Barry Callebaut that it had detected salmonella in a batch of its product, Belga News Agency reports.
Barry Callebaut, a Belgian-Swiss manufacturer, announced on Thursday morning that it had suspended production at its factory in Wieze, Eastern Flanders, after detecting traces of salmonella in a batch of chocolates manufactured there on 27 June. It immediately blocked all chocolate bars produced after Saturday 25 June.
Neuhaus, which is one of Callebaut’s clients, was informed on Wednesday evening. By that time, “a good portion of the potentially contaminated chocolate had already been used in our factories,” Neuhaus CEO Ignace Van Doorselaere told La Dernière Heure.
“We had to isolate and destroy the entire production and the stock concerned, and also close our factory,” he added.
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About 80 tonnes of chocolate had to be destroyed at Neuhaus, which said it regretted being informed "too late".
Its factory will remain closed for two to four weeks, during which time it will be cleaned. Neuhaus hopes to resume normal activity by early August. “Fortunately, we have enough stock to take care of sales over a period of three to four weeks,” Van Doorselaere said.