The bacterium was detected at the Barry Callebaut factory in Wies, which produces liquid chocolate in wholesale batches for 73 confectionary customers.
A company spokesman told the AFP news agency that production at the plant had been suspended.
“All products produced since the inspection have been detained. (..) “Barry Callebaut” is currently contacting all customers who may have received the contaminated products. Chocolate production in Visa has been suspended until further notice,” said the company’s press representative.
Most of the products contaminated with the salmonella bacteria are still in the factory, he added.
However, “Barry Callebaut” has contacted all customers and asked them not to send further products made from chocolate received from the specific “Barry Callebaut” factory since June 25.
Belgium’s food safety agency AFSCA has been informed of the incident and its spokesperson told AFP that an investigation had been launched.
The Barry Callebaut factory in Vis does not produce chocolate for direct consumer sales, and the company has no reason to believe that products made from contaminated chocolate by the factory’s customers have reached store shelves.
In May, the salmonella bacterium was discovered at the Italian chocolate company Ferrero’s factory in Arlon, southern Belgium, where Kinder products are made.
The Belgian health service announced on June 17 that it had given the go-ahead for the resumption of production at this factory for a three-month trial period.
The Swiss company “Barry Callebaut” supplies cocoa and chocolate products to many companies in the food industry, including “Hershey”, “Mondelez”, “Nestle” and “Unilever”.
Barry Callebaut employs more than 13,000 people and has more than 60 production facilities worldwide.