Barry Callebaut says the cleaning of its factory in Wieze, Belgium, is nearing completion and, as a result, is back to operating at normal capacity.

"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our customers for their understanding during this difficult period, and to all our employees who worked tirelessly for weeks to get the Wieze factory up and running again," said Peter Boone, CEO of Barry Callebaut Group.

After detecting a chocolate production lot with salmonella at its Wieze factory in Belgium on June 27, 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.

The first cleaned and disinfected production lines were reopened on Aug. 8.

"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."