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House searches at Nestlé and Buitoni after deaths

French authorities yesterday carried out house searches at food company Nestlé, both at its headquarters and at a northern French factory that makes Buitoni pizzas.

This happened after several serious cases of contamination with the E.coli bacteria after eating frozen pizzas of that brand. Dozens of French children became ill and two of them died.

On March 22, the Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into ‘involuntary manslaughter’, ‘cheating’ and ‘endangering others’.


On April 1, the production of frozen pizzas Fraîch’up banned at the Caudry factory after “two in-depth hygiene inspections” in the weeks before. Those inspections revealed ‘a deteriorating level of food hygiene control’. Among other things, rodents were found, and the cleaning of production, storage and transit areas was poor.

Measures were taken in Belgium on 21 March. “We then organized a recall as a precaution. Several Walloon Leader Price stores were involved. In our country there are no cases of E. coli infections that are linked to the case in France’, says Hélène Bonte, spokesperson for the food agency FASFC. (page, cm)

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