Searches were carried out on Wednesday April 13 in the Buitoni factory in Caudry (Nord), where the Fraich’Up frozen pizzas are produced, suspected of having caused serious cases of contamination of children by the E.coli bacterium, and at the headquarters. of Nestlé in the Hauts-de-Seine, several sources told AFP. In Caudry, the search began in the morning under the responsibility of the Paris prosecutor’s office which opened an investigation on March 22, in particular for “involuntary homicides”, “deception” and “endangering others”, specified the gendarmerie , confirming information from the daily La Voix du Nord. The Paris prosecutor’s office, whose investigation is being carried out by the public health department, confirmed to AFP that the operation was in progress shortly before 1 p.m.
The search of the Nestlé group factory is being carried out, according to the gendarmerie, by gendarmes from the Central Office for the Fight against Attacks on the Environment and Public Health (Oclaesp). The prefect of the North had prohibited by a prefectural decree on April 1 the production of pizzas within this factory, following “two in-depth hygiene inspections” carried out on March 22 and 29 by agents of the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations (DDPP) of the North and the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).
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A “lack of maintenance and cleaning”
These inspections “highlighted a degraded level of control of food hygiene”, specified the decree, pointing out in particular “the presence of rodents and the absence of means of protection against the entry of pests and the fight against pests that are effective and suitable for a food business” as well as the “lack of maintenance and cleaning of manufacturing, storage and passage areas”. These anomalies “constitute a significant source of microbiological, physical or chemical contamination of foodstuffs handled in the establishment, which therefore present or are likely to present a danger to the health of consumers”, according to the decree.
Buitoni had then indicated “to cooperate closely with the authorities within the framework of their investigation” to determine the origin of the E. Coli bacterium and to work “on an action plan and appropriate measures following this prefectural decree”. Since the end of February, France has experienced a resurgence of cases of kidney failure in children linked to contamination with E. coli. Several of these cases are linked to the consumption of Fraîch’Up pizzas from Buitoni, produced at the Caudry site, the health authorities have confirmed.
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