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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 19:55 GMT 20:55 UK
Cadbury agrees to improve tests
Dairy Milk
Cadbury will increase its contamination testing levels
Cadbury is to improve its contamination testing at its Marlbrook plant following a salmonella scare.

The firm met with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) after it had to recall one million chocolate bars in June over salmonella fears.

The firm will only release products for distribution once tests for salmonella are negative, the firm said.

The firm's contamination testing was out of date, experts advising the government recently said.

Ongoing investigation

Governmental body, the FSA, issued a statement after Thursday's meeting saying the firm would "increase its sample and testing to levels that will provide a higher level of reassurance that contamination would be picked up".

The firm will embark on "comprehensive cleaning of the production lines", the FSA stated.

Cadbury has blamed a leaking pipe at its Marlbrook plant, near Leominster, Herefordshire for the salmonella contamination.

Simon Baldry, Cadbury UK's managing director, said: "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."

The seven brands affected by the recall were the 250g Dairy Milk Turkish, Dairy Milk Caramel and Dairy Milk Mint bars, the Dairy Milk 8 chunk and the 1kg Dairy Milk bar as well as the 105g Dairy Milk Buttons Easter Egg and the Freddo bar.

But the mix used for those products was also the base ingredient for other items.

An investigation by the FSA, local authorities and public health organisations to examine if other Cadbury products were contaminated with salmonella is continuing.

'Below standard'

The latest news comes after the FSA recently sought the views of the independent Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) on the Cadbury's case.

ACMSF experts discovered flaws in the company's methods of testing and risk assessment, with an over-reliance on end-product testing.

Cadbury had failed to introduce sufficient checks during the manufacturing process, including repeatedly looking for leaks in equipment, or checking cooking temperatures were high enough.

Cadbury's said the levels were "significantly below the standard that would be any health problem" but the recall had been carried out as a "precautionary measure".

ACMSF said: "Cadbury's risk assessment does not address the risk of salmonella in chocolate in a way which the ACMSF would regard as a modern approach to risk assessment."




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