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Greenyard reopens Hungarian plant

Freezing tunnel source of Greenyard Listeria contamination

One of the freezing tunnels in Greenyard's Hungarian plant has been found to be the source of the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that led to the large-scale recall this summer. This discovery was made known by the Belgian company.

In July, a major recall campaign was taken for certain products. These had been produced between 13 August 2016 and 20 June 2018 in Greenyard's Hungarian plant in Baja. An investigation was launched into the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that occurred between 2015 and 2018. The recall action was in response to a decision taken by the Hungarian Food Safety Authority on 29 June 2018. This was in line with the EFSA investigation into the outbreak. Greenyard, in turn, decided to completely halt production in this factory until the source of the contamination was found.

The company wrote in a press release: "Food safety and the health of our consumers is Greenyard's number one priority. Greenyard conducted a broad, in-depth investigation in its factory into the cause of the potential contamination. We did so in collaboration with the authorities and independent experts."

The source of the contamination seems to be one of the plant's two freezing tunnels. Greenyard has decided to close this tunnel. It is used for about 3% of their Frozen division's production. The company, in collaboration with the authorities, looked into whether the plant could go back into production. The reopening took place under strict supervision. Greenyard has also set up a number of release procedures that will remain in place for as long as is deemed necessary.

These procedures allow for production to restart in the Hungarian plant. Clients can now again be supplied. There are also alternative solutions in place for products that are temporarily unavailable. "Greenyard regrets the impact this potential contamination and resulting recall had on our clients and consumers. We thank our clients and consumers for their continued support and trust."

With the reopening of the plant, the company expects the financial impact to be within the previously reported EUR30 million (net after insurance) range. Greenyard wants to take a leading role in increasing the frozen sector's industry regulations. The company has already set stricter standards for its own production sites.

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