Cadbury gives Oompa Loompas a Bad Name

Last month I reported that Cadbury, who was making grandiose efforts to become synonymous with the color purple was down on its luck and was announcing massive job cuts to try and right the ship. But before you go feeling sorry for the sugary giant (which is the world’s largest confectionary company with revenues of about £7.4b in 2006) and it’s self-reported need for a £650m four-year cost reduction plan, which it is partially blaming on its enterprise rollout of SAP (which caused too many chocolate bars to be produced and forced it to take a £12m hit on profits), it seems that it decided to introduce a new testing system for salmonella last year that allowed “safe” levels of salmonella in its products.

Well, when it comes to salmonella, there are no safe levels when consumables are involved, and that’s why the official guidelines say that there is to be no salmonella in ready-to-eat products. Furthermore, they did this knowing perfectly well that outbreaks of salmonella had been associated with very low levels in chocolate. See, salmonella is a bacteria … a gram-negative enterobacteria to be precise … and, like all bacteria, they have this funny habit of multiplying like mad under the right environmental conditions (which, oddly enough, are provided by the human body). And what did they get for it? A slap on the wrist for potentially exposing thousands and thousands of people to a bacteria that is known to kill at least 600 people a year (as per the CDC) and infect over 40,000.

and you’re to blame
Cadbury, you give oompa loompas
a bad name