The cleaning of Barry Callebaut's chocolate lines affected by Salmonella-positive lecithin at its factory in Wieze, Belgium is progressing well, the company says.

As a result, the first cleaned chocolate lines are predicted to restart production in early August, with a gradual ramp-up to full capacity over the following weeks.

On June 27, Barry Callebaut detected a Salmonella-positive chocolate production lot at its Wieze, Belgium factory and identified a lecithin batch from a supplier as the root cause.

As a precautionary measure, Barry Callebaut halted all chocolate production at the Wieze factory on June 29, which prevented affected chocolate products from entering the retail food chain. Barry Callebaut informed the Belgian Food Safety Authorities (FAVV) and is in continuous contact with them on the incident.

"Food safety is paramount for Barry Callebaut, and this is a very exceptional incident," the company said. "Not only does Barry Callebaut have a food safety charter and procedure in place, but also over 230 colleagues working on food safety and quality in Europe and over 650 worldwide. At the site in Wieze, employees are trained to recognize food safety risks. This allowed the teams to quickly identify the risk and initiate the root cause analysis."