Buitoni pizzas contaminated with E.coli: rodents, unsanitary conditions, clogged air conditioning… these new damning testimonies

Several testimonials from several employees of the Buitoni factory in Caudry shed light on the health deficiencies observed in their factory.

The Buitoni affair has not finished making people talk. Indeed, six months after the launch of the investigation, several testimonials from employees overwhelm the management.

We cogitate, we no longer sleep. We wonder how we got here. What did we do wrong?

An employee of the Caudry factory, in the North, where the Fraîch’Up pizzas of the Buitoni brand contaminated with Escherichia coli were manufactured, testifies to our colleagues from franceinfo. He says he feels guilt since the scandal broke.

He also wanted to explain to Radio France’s Investigation Unit the “serious shortcomings” denounced by the Nord prefecture to justify the closure of the factory.

* Pierre and his colleagues, who were also interviewed, notably came back to the reduction to a minimum of time not devoted to production. “Until 2015, the factory operated with 16 hours of production and 8 hours of cleaning per day, specify Patrick and Pierre. After 2015, we almost double the production time to reach 27 hours per day (in three teams of 9 hours) and the cleaning time is almost halved, going from 8 hours to 4 hours 45.”

According to them, the first consequences the consequences of this reorganization were particularly notable on hygiene. “It was no longer possible to do everything.” Asked about this point, the management of Nestlé France confirms that the cleaning time is now less than 5 hours, details franceinfo.

Clogged air conditioning and uncleaned flour silos

“Before 2015, the air conditioning ducts were cleaned every six months to a year,” explains Pierre. the roofs, the temperature rises very high in the workshop, it is very hot, it can go up to 27 degrees”, explains * Pierre.

The safety of certain areas is also singled out. This is the case of the flour silos, these four giant towers of the factory very visible from afar, and which each store 25 tonnes of flour, which have not been cleaned since 2015. However, according to the European Guide to Good hygiene practices for the storage of cereals that Radio France was able to consult, the storage areas should be cleaned at least once a year.

The decree of the prefecture also mentions the presence of rodents in the bakery workshop. One of the employees interviewed by our colleagues said that he had observed a possible crossing point for rats.

The management of Nestlé has for its part affirmed to Radio France that it has made the fight against rodents a priority for several years.

If the track of contamination inside the factory is one of the hypotheses put forward by scientists, that of contaminated flour before being delivered to the factory cannot be excluded, specifies Le Figaro. As reminded franceinfoin 2009 in the United States, contamination with unheated flour poisoned nearly 80 people.

As a reminder, on July 11, Christophe Cornu, CEO of Nestlé France and owner of the Buitoni brand, apologized. In the columns of Le Figaro, he announced that the group had created “a support fund for victims of HUS (hemolytic and uremic syndromes)”.

The sale of frozen pizzas collapses in France

The Buitoni scandal has effects on consumer confidence. While batches of pizzas from the brand contaminated with E.coli bacteria have been removed from the shelves since March, the French are in no rush to buy back these products, reports BFMBusiness.

The data transmitted by Nielsen to the information site reveals that the turnover generated by the sales of frozen pizzas in mass distribution fell by 34.2% between March 14 and June 19 compared to the previous year. Sales of fresh pizzas suffered a drop of 9.4% over the same periodyet no batch had been contaminated.

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