Arlon chocolate factory given all-clear after Kinder food safety scare
The Belgian chocolate factory at the centre of a Europe-wide food safety scare earlier this year has been given the all-clear by health authorities to fully resume production.
Belgium's food safety watchdog Afsca had shut down the Ferrero factory in Arlon, Luxembourg province, on 8 April after dozens of cases of salmonella were detected in Kinder products in the run-up to Easter.
The Arlon branch of the Italian chocolate giant received authorisation in mid-June to restart production under certain conditions and its operations were kept under surveillance for three months.
"All the results of analyses of raw materials and finished products were compliant, and the inspections went well," an Afsca spokeswoman said. The food safety body added that the factory would continue to "be monitored more closely" with regular unannounced spot checks.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, about 400 confirmed cases of salmonella in the EU could be traced to chocolate products made in Ferrero's Belgian factory.
Ferrero said in a statement that it had been "working under the supervision of Afsca, using improved quality and testing protocols".
Judicial investigations have been opened in both France and Belgium to determine whether any of Ferrero's management or staff have a criminal case to answer.