The world's largest chocolate producer Barry Callebaut has halted production at an enormous factory in Belgium after salmonella was discovered onsite.
The Swiss company's operation in Wieze, which has been cited as the biggest chocolate-making factory in the world, was this week suspended until further notice after cases of the bacteria were found.
Barry Callebaut, which supplies chocolate to many UK hospitality operators, is now "reaching out to all customers who may have received impacted products".
It has placed on hold all products created at the factory since 25 June and, as a precaution, has asked its customers not to use any chocolate they have been shipped.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the company said: "Barry Callebaut informed the Belgian food authorities (FAVV) about the incident and has taken the precautionary measure to stop all chocolate production lines and to block all products manufactured since the time of testing."
The Zurich-based group said it identified lecithin - an ingredient used in all chocolate production - as the source of the salmonella. It called this "a very exceptional case" of such an infection.
The confectioner, which has more than 60 production facilities globally, supplies other companies with chocolate bases which brands then use to create their own products.
The Caterer has contacted Barry Callebaut for further comment.*
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