Barry Callebaut's plant in Dijon, in eastern France, was evacuated today (8 November) following a bomb alert.

It is likely to remain closed until Monday as security personnel search the premises.

A spokesperson for the Swiss chocolate group was taking the bomb scare "very seriously". He said: "A thorough search of the site is underway." However, he declined to speculate on who might have been be behind it.

The alert came hours before a meeting of Barry Callebaut Dijon's works council to discuss the proposed takeover of the plant by Chocolaterie de Bourgogne.

The spokesperson confirmed the meeting did take place this afternoon. "It was held within the framework of the consultation process for the transfer of the Dijon which is now in its final stages. But I'm not in a position to comment on the specific details discussed nor the outcome of the meeting," he added.

Workers at the plant began go-slow action last month to further demands for additional guarantees from Barry Callebaut on the transfer to Chocolaterie de Bourgogne, an official of the UNSA union told just-food, going on to condemn the bomb scare.

"We are not against the transfer of the plant's ownership. But Callebaut needs to put more on the table for us to be convinced that the plant has a long-term future."