The Salmonella bacteria was discovered in the world’s largest chocolate factory run by Swiss giant Barry Callebaut in the Belgian town of Vise, the firm announced on Thursday.
A company spokesperson told AFP that production at the factory has halted, which produces liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for 73 clients making confectionaries.
“All products manufactured since the test have been blocked,” spokesman Korneel Warlop said.
“Barry Callebaut is currently contacting all customers who may have received contaminated products. Chocolate production in Wieze remains suspended until further notice.”
He added that most of the products found contaminated are still on the site.
But the firm has contacted all its clients and asked them not to ship any products they have made with chocolate made since June 25 at these Wieze plant, which is in Flanders, northwest of Brussels.
Belgium’s food safety agency AFSCA has been informed and a spokesman told AFP it had opened an investigation.
The Wieze plant does not make chocolate for direct sale to consumers, and the company still does not believe that stigmatized products made by customers have ever found store shelves.
The scare comes just weeks after a case of salmonella-contaminated chocolate at Ferrero’s Arlon factory, which makes kinder chocolate in southern Belgium.
Health officials in Belgium announced on June 17 that they had given the green light to reopen the Italian giant factory for a three-month trial period.
The Swiss group Barry Callebaut supplies cocoa and chocolate products to many companies in the food industry, including industry giants such as Hershey, Mondelez, Nestle or Unilever.