Contaminated pizza: closed, Buitoni factory in Codri fears closure – Science et Avenir

Perhaps this is the first step before the final closure: Nestlé France has announced to employees the suspension of the Buitoni pizza factory in Codri (North) due to a serious health scandal due to falling sales.

The establishment produced Fraîch’Up’s raw dough pizza, which is suspected to have killed two children and poisoned dozens of others with the bacterium Escherichia coli.

The factory partially reopened in mid-December 2022 after nine months of inactivity, but was only allowed to reopen a cooked-dough pizza line unaffected by the scandal.

“The frozen pizza market has fallen 20% in a year, and this fall has had an even greater impact on the Buitoni brand,” a Nestlé France spokesman told AFP on Friday.

“Despite all the efforts made to ensure the restart of the plant under the best possible conditions in December 2022, the deteriorating order outlook has forced Nestlé France to respond,” he added.

The company has so far only announced to employees during Thursday’s meeting that it is “temporarily suspending” operations with immediate effect, but that could lead to a permanent shutdown.

The factory’s workers, just under 200, will keep their salaries until a decision is made on their factory, a Nestlé France spokesman said.

– “End” –

“Many colleagues are devastated,” FO (majority) delegate Stefan Derammeler told AFP, referring to the many over-50s and the couple, two of whose members work at Buitoni.

“We didn’t expect distributors to slam the door on us,” he says. He stressed that orders are currently only 450 tons, a far cry from the 3,500 originally planned for 2023.

“I think it’s all over,” concludes the trade unionist, pointing out that Nestlé’s “sentence” is due on March 30th.

Caudry Mayor Frédéric Bricaud has asked Nestlé, “a global group that makes billions in profits, to replace another pizza product in Caudry,” he told AFP.

In a press release signed jointly with Hauts-de-France regional council president Xavier Bertrand, the elected official demands a meeting with Nestlé France “to know” his “true intentions” for Coudry.

– “Rodents” –

The French Public Health Service (SPF) and the Fraud Prevention Department (DGCCRF) were alerted in February 2022 of a spike in cases of E. coli-related kidney failure in children.

Buitoni logo on the facade of the Caudry factory, September 15, 2022, North (AFP/Archive – Denis Charlet)

On March 18, Nestlé recalled its pizza and closed two production lines, and on April 1, the prefecture banned all activities there as health authorities linked the consumption of Fraîch’Up pizza to several serious cases of infection. .coli.

Following searches in Caudry and Nestlé’s Hauts-de-Seine headquarters in mid-May, a judicial investigation was opened, in particular for the manslaughter of one person and the unintentional injuries of 14 others.

In July, the head of Nestle France, Christophe Cornu, announced the creation of a “support fund for the victims.”

Nestlé France indicated that it took more than 2,000 samples and found the bacteria in frozen pizzas produced between October 2021 and February 16, 2022.

According to the company’s internal analysis, the “most likely hypothesis” is “flour contamination”.

Other possible reasons have been put forward, such as cleaning and hygiene conditions, following several warnings in the past and accusatory testimonies from employees.

According to a prefectural decree dated April 1, health inspections for several years have reported “presence of rodents” and “lack of maintenance and cleaning of production, storage and walk-through areas” at the factory.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.