Nestlé France CEO apologizes and announces fund for victims

“A human drama, where families and children are affected”. In an interview at Figaro published this Monday evening, the boss of Nestlé France Christophe Cornu presents his “apologies” to the families affected by contamination linked to the consumption of Buitoni frozen pizzas.

The CEO announces the creation of a “support fund for victims of HUS” (Hemolytic and Uremic Syndrome), without revealing the amount he will devote to it. “It will in no way replace the compensation that justice 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 make it possible to provide assistance to these affected families, who, beyond the suffering, may also be faced with financial difficulties, such as loss of income, ”he specifies.

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”, indicates the boss. of Nestlé France, stressing that it is, “at the moment, only a suspicion”, while the analyzes should take several more weeks, according to Le Figaro. “I cannot commit to an end date for the investigation, but I undertake to give all the answers as soon as we know more. »

Two closed production lines

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.

Concerning the restarting of the Caudry factory, “the Fraîch’Up line will not restart until all the light has been shed on the origin of the bacteria”, indicates 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 factory. He will answer all the questions raised by the prefectural decree of April 1, ”promises 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.

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