Barry Callebaut expects to restart production at its chocolate factory in Wieze, Belgium, by early August and gradually ramp-up production to reach full capacity in the following weeks.
The chocolate maker halted production in the plant on 29 June, as a precautionary measure, after discovering salmonella in a production lot.
The company identified lecithin as the source of the contamination and has since undertaken measures to clean the chocolate production lines in the factory.
Barry Callebaut also informed the Belgian Food Safety Authorities (FAVV) and added it is in continuous collaboration with the organisation.
Food safety remains 'paramount' for the group, describing the recent issue as an 'exceptional' incident, the company noted.
Barry Callebaut has a food safety charter and procedure in place and has more than 230 employees working on food safety and quality in Europe and over 650 worldwide.
The chocolate-maker reported ‘strong’ growth in sales volume, driven by its performance across all regions in the first half of its financial year. The EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region saw sales volume growth of 11.6%, to 537,542 tonnes, in this period.
In April of this year, Italian confectionary group Ferrero suspended operations at its plant in Arlon, Belgium and voluntarily recalled some of its Kinder chocolates from the American shelves due to a potential link with salmonella contamination.
The company received conditional authorisation from the Belgian food safety authority (AFSCA) to reopen production lines in the factory in mid June, following extensive cleaning and food safety controls.