The CEO of Nestlé France has apologized to the families of the children who were victims of contamination linked to Buitoni pizzas.
The boss of Nestlé France Christophe Cornu presented his “apologies” to the families of children affected by contamination linked to the consumption of Buitoni frozen pizzas and announced the creation of a “victim support fund”, in an interview put in place. line Monday evening on the Figaro site.
“Today I want to express my deepest compassion and apologize,” said Christophe Cornu in this interview, deploring “a human tragedy, where families and children are affected”.
As a reminder, on March 18, Nestlé closed two pizza production lines. The Nord prefecture banned the activity of the Buitoni factory in Caudry (Nord) by order of April 1, after the health authorities announced that they had established a link between the consumption of Fraich’up pizzas and several serious cases of contamination. by Escherichia coli.
“We have decided to create a support fund for victims of HUS” (Hemolytic and Uremic Syndrome), announced Christophe Cornu, without revealing the amount he will devote to it.
“It will in no way replace the compensation that the courts may decide. Set up on September 1, it will be administered by a trusted third party, an association that we are in the process of choosing. It will provide assistance to these families affected, who, beyond the suffering, may also face financial difficulties, such as loss of income,” he said.
The flours responsible for the contamination?
Regarding the origin of the contamination, “if we do not exclude at this stage any hypothesis on the origin of the bacteria, we are currently pursuing in-depth investigations on the flours used on the Fraîch’Up line”, indicated the boss of Nestlé France, stressing that it is, “at present, only a suspicion”, while the analyzes should take several more weeks, according to the daily.
“I cannot commit to a date for the end of the investigation, but I undertake to give all the answers as soon as we know more,” assured the manager.
Regarding the restart of the Caudry plant, “The Fraîch’Up line will not restart until all the light has been shed on the origin of the bacteria”, indicated Christophe Cornu.
“For the other line, which produces Four à Pierre pizzas in particular and which has never been affected by the recall, it is difficult to envisage a reopening before November 2022. We are working with the authorities on a protocol for restarting the factory. He will answer all the questions raised by the prefectural decree of April 1”, promised the leader.
Pizzas from Buitoni’s Fraîch’Up range are suspected of having caused the death of two children. A judicial investigation was opened in particular for involuntary homicide against a person, involuntary injuries concerning 14 people, placing on the market of a product dangerous to health and endangering others.
A judicial investigation is underway in Paris, in particular for manslaughter and involuntary injuries.