The group hopes to be able to reopen two production lines at the Caudry site, in the North, “subject to the agreement of the authorities”.
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This is the industrial site where the pizzas contaminated by the E.coli bacteria came from. One of the two production lines at the Buitoni factory in Caudry (Nord) could restart in November “subject to the agreement of the authorities”, announced Thursday, September 15 a spokesperson for the Nestlé France group to AFP. The group also revealed several results of internal analyzes carried out by the company itself.
>> Buitoni pizzas contaminated with E.coli: employees reveal malfunctions in their factory
According to Nestlé, these results confirm “the most probable hypothesis of contamination of the flour by the bacterium E. coli STEC”, one of the strains of this bacterium. These analyzes were carried out in May and June on flour delivered to the factory in March 2022, just after the outbreak of this health scandal. This flour was stored in several of the mill’s silos.
Contamination from flour delivered by a supplier was one of the hypotheses mentioned by the boss of Nestlé France in an interview with Figaro (article for subscribers) in July. But other possible causes have been put forward, such as cleaning and hygiene conditions. An investigation by the health authorities is also underway, the results of which are unknown at this time.
Nestlé France, which says it has taken more than 2,000 samples, claims not to have detected any bacteria on the production lines and their environment (walls, grids, etc.). According to its spokesperson, E.coli was on frozen pizzas from the Fraîch’Up range produced between October 2021 and February 16, 2022. These pizzas are suspected of having caused the death of two children. A judicial investigation was opened in particular for manslaughter and involuntary injuries.