Food maker Unilever, which makes cereals such as Telma Cornflakes and Delipecan, confirmed Thursday that one of its production lines had been temporarily decommissioned due to contamination.
Boxes of the products have disappeared from supermarket shelves in recent days, reportedly due to salmonella contamination in a Unilever plant. The company previously denied that its manufacturing was contaminated.
Unilever may have to destroy tens of thousands of cereal boxes due to the contamination, according to Israeli media reports.
Unilever told TheMarker that the company had stopped delivery of hundreds of tons of breakfast cereal Thursday morning, following the discovery of a secondary contamination in one of the production lines. “A number of products did not fill the company’s rigorous microbial requirements, so we decided not to market those products,” the company said.
Later in the day, Unilever confirmed that the suspected contaminant was salmonella.
A similar incident occurred about a month ago, causing cereal shortages in food chains.
Unilever said at the time that “a suspicion of salmonella” was found in one of its production lines, which had been deactivated for 24 hours before resuming action.
The company first said this week’s shortage was caused by that break in production, as well as unprecedented demand for the cereals due to reductions.
All the products on the shelves and those that had been bought are safe to eat, a company official said.
A number of food chains told TheMarker Thursday that the supply of Delipecan and Cornflakes was stopped several weeks ago and resumed a short time later. Then the production was stopped again, though Unilever didn’t tell them why.
Unilever confirmed last night it had halted the delivery of hundreds of tons of cereal to supermarkets and shops only after TheMarker questioned them about the previous shortage Thursday morning.