Italian confectionary group Ferrero said on Friday it has suspended operations at its plant in Arlon, Belgium, after Europe's health agency began an investigation into dozens of cases of salmonella potentially linked to the company's chocolates.
The company also said there were internal inefficiencies, creating delays in retrieving and sharing information in a timely manner.
The Arlon plant accounts for around 7% of total volumes of Kinder products made globally on a yearly basis, Ferrero added.
Recall In The US
Elsewhere, the group has voluntarily recalled some of its Kinder chocolates from the American shelves for a potential link with salmonella contamination.
Kinder Happy Moments Chocolate Assortment and Kinder Mix Chocolate Treats basket are being recalled because they were manufactured in a facility where salmonella was detected, Ferrero North America said on Thursday.
The voluntarily recall comes after Ferrero recalled its Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs from the UK stores earlier this week, adding that the affected chocolate was manufactured in Belgium and the recall may be extended to other countries. Read full story
'While there are no reports of illness in the United States to date, Ferrero is voluntarily recalling the products out of an abundance of caution due to reported cases of salmonella in consumers that consumed products in Europe that were manufactured at the same facility,' the statement said.
Europe's health agency European Centre for Disease prevention and Control have already started investigating dozens of reported and suspected cases of salmonella linked with eating chocolate in at least nine countries.
The salmonella bacteria can cause serious and severe infections, especially in children or elderly people and others with weak immune system.
Probable or confirmed cases on Salmonella linked with eating chocolates has been found in Britain, France, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.