'World's largest' chocolate factory halts production after salmonella infection

A huge Belgian chocolate factory has halted production after detecting salmonella in a batch of chocolates.

The Barry Callebaut company said Thursday that its plant in Wieze – which it says is the world’s largest chocolate factory – shut down all production lines as a precaution while the contamination is investigated.

Barry Callebaut produces chocolate for multiple brands sold around the world.

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FILE - Barry Callebaut company factory in Weize, Belgium. (The Barry Callebaut Group)

The salmonella was detected Monday, and all chocolate products made at the plant were placed on hold pending investigation, the company said. It identified lecithin, an emulsifier routinely used in making chocolates, as the source of the contamination.

The company said it informed Belgian food safety authorities and is contacting customers who might have contaminated products in their possession.


FILE - Barry Callebaut is the world's leading manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products. (The Barry Callebaut Group)

It is unclear whether any consumers have reported being sickened by the chocolates.


FILE - Barry Callebaut chocolate factory in Brazil. (The Barry Callebaut Group)

Earlier this year, at least 200 reported cases of salmonella were believed linked to chocolate Easter eggs made in another Belgian plant operated by Italian company Ferrero.