Cadbury vows to improve salmonella testing

13-07-2006

Cadbury vows to improve salmonella testing
Chocolate maker Cadbury has vowed to improve its contamination testing following a salmonella scare at one of its factories.

Scientists had criticised the confectioner's risk assessment methods after the company was last month forced to recall more than a million chocolate bars over fears that products had been contaminated at its plant in Marlbrook, Herefordshire.

Following a meeting with officials from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) yesterday, Cadbury announced that in future it would only release products that tested negative for salmonella.

Any products that tested positive would be destroyed, the company said.
Cadbury has also pledged to thoroughly clean production lines at the Marlbrook plant after a leaking pipe at the factory prompted the salmonella contamination.

Commenting, Cadbury UK managing director Simon Baldry said the company regretted any concern the recent recall of its products had caused to consumers.

"We have always acted in good faith, and we are happy to change our procedures based on advice from the FSA and environmental health officers," he added.

In a statement the FSA confirmed that Cadbury would increase its sampling and testing to levels that would provide "a higher degree of reassurance that contamination would be picked up".

The food regulator had sought advice from the independent Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) on Cadbury's testing methods after it was forced to recall chocolate bars across seven of its brands.

The ACMSF concluded that the company's testing methods did not address the risk of salmonella in chocolate in a way that reflected a "modern approach to risk assessment".

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