UK confectioner Cadbury Schweppes has responded to reports it could be facing prosecution following last year's salmonella-linked recall of over 1m chocolate products. The local authority overseeing the investigation told just-food this morning (13 February) that it is yet to reach a final decision on whether the company broke environmental health regulations.

A report in UK daily The Guardian said Cadbury is set to face charges under environmental health laws for allegedly producing unfit food and failing to take action swiftly enough when the problem was detected. The company is expected by the paper to plead not guilty.

However, Cadbury told just-food that it has not been informed of any potential prosecution. "We have co-operated fully with the investigation and will continue to do so," a company spokesperson added.

A joint investigation by Birmingham city council and Herefordshire district council, and financially backed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), is close to completion although no final date has been set. A Birmingham city council spokesperson told just-food that it was not going to pre-empt the possibility of any prosecution until the investigation was completed.

"In fairness to all parties we are taking every possible step to ensure our investigation is as fair and thorough as possible. In order to do this we have conducted hundreds of detailed scientific tests and are continuing to interview key witnesses from all over the country. Until the investigation is complete we are unable to speculate on what the result of this will be," the council added.

Last Friday (9 February), Cadbury recalled some of its Easter egg products following a labelling error that could have affected people with nut allergies.