The Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium-headquartered Greenyard vegetable and fruit group on December 1 amicably concluded a Listeria monocytogenes contamination case allegedly linked to a number of illnesses and deaths. A €500,000 settlement agreement was accepted by the Brussels-based Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA).
The case involved frozen vegetables produced at a Greenyard company facility in Baja, Hungary, between August 13, 2016 and June 20, 2018. A recall was initiated as a result of a decision taken by the Hungarian food safety authority following detection of a specific type of Listeria monocytogenes found on products manufactured by and marketed from the Hungarian factory. In parallel, production was immediately stopped at the plant.
Greenyard conducted a wide-ranging and in-depth investigation in collaboration with the Hungarian and European food safety authorities and independent experts. This investigation was successfully completed and in September of 2018 production at the Hungarian factory resumed.
Following Greenyard’s communication on the listeria outbreak, the FSMA began an inquiry in late 2018 into the framework of Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 (Market Abuse Regulation). Greenyard, having fully cooperated with the investigation, opted to conclude a settlement without acknowledgment of guilt with the FSMA.
“This allows Greenyard to close this chapter definitively and to fully focus on its core business, following a successful transformation of the company, as well as on the continuation of the ongoing recovery of its profitability and sales growth, which is reflected in the half-year results as per 30 September 2020,” reported the company in a press release issued on December 1.