Confectionery giant Ferrero has announced that the Belgian food safety authority (AFSCA) has authorised the reopening of production lines at its plant in Arlon.
The facility has been granted conditional authorisation, Ferrero noted, following extensive cleaning and food safety controls conducted in association with the AFSCA.
In April of this year, Ferrero suspended operations at the plant after Europe's health agency began an investigation into cases of salmonella in some of the company's chocolates.
'Invaluable Guidance And Support'
Lapo Civiletti, chief executive officer of the Ferrero Group, commented, “We are very pleased to have received the green light from the Belgian food safety authority. We would like to thank AFSCA for their invaluable guidance and support.
“We are truly sorry for what happened and would like to apologise once again to all those impacted. We have never experienced a situation like this in our 75-year history. We have taken learnings from this unfortunate event and will do everything to ensure it does not happen again.”
Food Safety Controls
Since the closure of the plant, the company has conducted more than 1,800 quality tests and dismantled and cleaned approximately 10,000 parts in the production line.
It has also invested in replacing multiple pieces of equipment, installing 300 metres of new pipeline, updating the product safety protocols, and trainings and sampling in the plant.
In this period, more than 1,000 Ferrero employees and independent specialists worked at the plant continuously.
The project has been conducted in a transparent manner and in close collaboration with AFSCA, who have confirmed that Ferrero has met all required food safety standards, the company noted.