Ferrero has been granted “conditional authorisation” to reopen its production lines in Arlon, Belgium, following an outbreak of salmonella at the site earlier this year.
The Arlon factory had been closed since April, after Belgian health authorities ordered the company to cease operations due to a number of reported salmonella cases suspected to be linked to its Kinder branded chocolate.
Ferrero said in a statement that the reopening of the plant follows “extensive cleaning and food safety controls” and that it will initiate “the progressive restarting of the production lines over the next few weeks”.
“More than 1,000 Ferrero employees and independent specialists have been working at the plant continuously,” said Ferrero. “More than 1,800 quality tests have been completed, 10,000 parts dismantled and cleaned and significant investments made. This includes the replacement of multiple pieces of equipment as well as the installation of 300 metres of new pipeline. We’ve also updated the product safety protocols, trainings and sampling in the plant.”
Ferrero CEO, Lapo Civiletti, stated: “We are very pleased to have received the green light from the Belgian food safety authority. We would like to thank AFSCA for their invaluable guidance and support. We are truly sorry for what happened and would like to apologise once again to all those impacted. We have never experienced a situation like this in our 75-year history. We have taken learnings from this unfortunate event and will do everything to ensure it does not happen again.”
The AFSCA has granted the conditional authorisation “for a period of three months,” during which, raw materials and product batches will be analysed by the body.
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