Salmonella fears after outbreak confirmed at world’s biggest chocolate factory

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The world's largest chocolate factory has suspended the making of any more chocolate after salmonella bacteria was discovered on the property.

Closing the factory that provides chocolate produce to the likes of Hershey, Mondelez, Nestle and Unilever, comes as bacteria was found in the factory that could prove dangerous if consumed.

In the UK alone, 70 children, mostly aged under five, are said to have fallen ill with food poisoning after a chain of Kinder Egg products were reported as having salmonella risks.

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The latest chocolate catastrophe comes as the Belgian-based Barry Callebaut production factory, which employs 13,000, cuts its supply chain off temporarily from the potentially contaminated products.

Swiss giant Barry Callebaut runs the factory in the Belgian town of Wieze, with a total of 73 unique clients receiving their produce batches from the contaminated factory.

A spokesman for the company today said that any customers, who might have received contaminated chocolate, would be contacted.

Spokesman Korneel Warlop said: "All products manufactured since the test have been blocked. Chocolate production in Wieze remains suspended until further notice."

The factory's production suspension comes some months after Kinder also reported traces of salmonella in their production factories.

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That Kinder Surprise incident is currently under investigation, which has taken samples from that salmonella case and said they are from the same strain as the samples taken from a separate factory in Belgium last December.

At the time of the first reported infections, Dame Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UKHSA, warned that infection "can be severe and many children affected in this outbreak have been very unwell and hospitalised".

Belgian health authorities have announced that Ferrero in Arlons, where the Kinder salmonella was traced to, can resume production.

A three-month test period will be used at the factory, Metro reported.

Belgium's food safety agency AFSCA has confirmed that the Wieze plant will be investigated.


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