The Food Standards Agency told just-food today (3 July) that the recall of Cadbury products feared to be contaminated with salmonella Montevideo could be extended, depending on the outcome of further tests being conducted by the company and the local authority.

The FSA is concerned that the source of salmonella contamination in the seven top-selling Cadbury products, which have already been recalled, could have been a milk chocolate crumb used more widely as a base ingredient. An additional 30 products are currently being tested.

“If tests on any of the other chocolates come back positive, the company will probably have to recall more products,” a spokesperson for the government agency said.

The company first became aware of low-level salmonella contamination in January, but has come under fire from the FSA and Department of Health because it failed to notify the proper authorities until two weeks ago.

The company delayed, Cadbury has said, because contamination levels were so low that it did not represent a health risk. However, the FSA told just-food, the agency believes any level of salmonella contamination represents a potential risk and requires swift action. “Any trace of salmonella in food destined for public consumption is unacceptable,” a representative for the FSA concluded.

Analysts at investment bank JPMorgan Cazenove have estimated that the alert will cost the confectioner GBP25m (US$46.12m) – GBP5m in recall costs and the rest in lost sales, the result of a decline in consumer confidence.