Tuesday 19th July 2022
A statement from Sarunds regarding Callebaut Salmonella incident
In the past few years, we’ve faced major economic and environmental issues that have either increased our costs, added delivery delays, or just made it difficult for us all to do business. We now face an outbreak of salmonella in Callebaut’s factory in Wieze, Belgium. Callebaut produces couverture for the majority of the world’s chocolate manufacturers.
On Monday 27th June, Barry Callebaut detected a salmonella positive product on a production lot manufactured at its factory in Wieze, Belgium. Due to their robust food safety programmes, they were able to quickly identify the source of the contamination as being lecithin and production was halted immediately.
Callebaut produces couverture in various forms, but the larger manufacturers take it as a liquid, which gets delivered and fed directly into the tanks of these larger chocolate producers. The contaminated production run was produced in liquid form and went to a number of factories throughout Europe. Once the problem was identified, Callebaut had to stop all production and destroy any stock it had. Those factories that had received potentially contaminated liquid chocolate also had to destroy any stock from that batch.
No stock of this contaminated batch has reached Sarunds. All currently supplied products from us and in our warehouse are safe to continue selling.
Callebaut and all the affected factories have had to close for several weeks while all production lines and chocolate tanks are meticulously cleaned, this is both a costly and time-consuming process that can only be done by certified professionals under the guidance of the Federal Agency for Food Safety, (FAVV). Once completed, Callebaut will then be able to start processing cocoa beans into couverture again. The current estimate for this is end-August, with a further few weeks for the manufacturers to convert the couverture to finished product. While there are other companies that can make couverture, Callebaut is by far the largest supplier, and is now unable to provide couverture from this site to manufacturers right at the start of their busiest period - the production schedules for the Christmas season.
HOW SARUNDS IS HELPING
Through our wide supply network, we also deal with many factories not currently affected by salmonella, these will continue to produce stock for us for as long as possible. Of these, the factories that do buy from Callebaut, have informed us that they’re unsure when they’ll start receiving fresh couverture again once they have run out. The knock-on effect of that is that once any existing un-contaminated chocolate has been used up, we do not currently know when we will be receiving fresh stock from these factories.
We are already working hard and with all our manufacturers and suppliers to help minimise disruption to your business and will obviously keep with you informed should any delivery problems start to occur.
Sarunds have a warehouse full of products that are available now with a shelf-life beyond Christmas 2022. We also have good stocks of couverture, though this is likely to go quickly.
We are working with some factories to be able to source some additional loose chocolates who have extended ranges / production capacity and available couverture. Our aim is to keep a varied range of products and help give you additional options if needed.
Please regularly check the members area of the website for new information as we will be updating it and all our office and territory staff as we find more information. We are here to help and support you.