A spokesperson for the Foods Standards Agency confirmed to just-food today (6 July) that a meeting is being held between Cadbury Schweppes, the agency and the local authority, but warned that sensational media reports have exaggerated the significance of the so-called “summit”.
Cadbury has been caught up in a whirlwind of negative publicity since news broke that the company had been aware of low-level salmonella contamination at its Marlbrook factory in January but failed to notify the proper authorities or issue a product recall until the end of June. The company has recalled over a million chocolate bars, including its flagship Dairy Milk brand, but has been plagued by rumours that further recalls are necessary.
It has been widely reported in the British press today that the meeting between the company and food safety officials will focus on whether the recall should be extended to include additional products at risk of contamination.
However, the FSA told just-food, the subject of widening the recall has not been discussed. “Based on the information we have been supplied with, we completed a risk assessment and do not consider a further recall to be necessary at this stage,” a representative for the government watchdog commented. “Discussions today have focused on conditions at the Marlbrook factory and how practices can be modified to avoid similar problems in the future.”
Cadbury refused to give details of what went on behind closed doors, but emphasised that it is cooperating with authorities. “I can’t go into details. It was a private meeting,” Cadbury’s Tony Billsbury told just-food. “We have been working closely with the FSA and local authorities as we go forward.”