Infotech What we know about the contamination of children by E. Coli bacteria in Buitoni pizzas

What we know about the contamination of children by E. Coli bacteria in Buitoni pizzas

Health authorities on Wednesday established a link between frozen pizzas from the Buitoni brand, from the Nestlé group, and several serious cases of contamination by the bacterium Escherichia coli, while dozens of French children fell ill, and two are dead.

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Last Friday, the brand had already announced the immediate recall of the entire range of Fraîch’up frozen pizzas due to the presence of Escherichia coli bacteria, the health authorities citing a “possible link” with severe cases in children reported since January.

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  • Dozens of sick children

75 cases are under investigation, including 41 for which hemolytic and uraemic syndromes “similar” have been identified, and 34 for which additional analyzes are in progress, reports Public Health France. Sick children are between 1 and 18 years old. Two children have died, although in both cases the link to pizzas has not been confirmed.

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The poisonings occurred in 12 regions of metropolitan France: Hauts-de-France (16 cases), New Aquitaine (11 cases), Pays de la Loire (10 cases), Ile-de-France (9 cases), Brittany ( 7 cases), Grand Est (5 cases), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (4 cases), Centre-Val de Loire (4 cases), Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (3 cases), Bourgogne-Franche-Comté ( 2 cases), Normandy (2 cases) and Occitanie (2 cases).

  • Contamination of the dough?

According to his information, the Nestlé group “would rather look at possible contamination at the pulp level”. These pizzas contain “flour, which is an agricultural product, there is a risk of having Escherichia coli in the flour. We will work on it”assured Jérôme Jaton, industrial director general of Nestlé, during a press conference given on Wednesday.

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Contaminations which do not surprise a former employee who worked for eighteen months in the Caudry factory in the North, who testified this Thursday March 31 on RMC: “When you see mushrooms on the wall, you know it’s not right. The paint on the metal bars was peeling off. There were bits of food that remained in certain places for several days, several weeks. » And to continue:

“In sauce recovery bins, you could find cigarette butts. Where the flour is sent to the carpets, so that the dough does not stick, there were mealworms. Most people did not wash their hands, even when returning from the toilet. There was cross-contamination which was clear, it even surprises me that there was no accident before. »

  • A closed Nestlé factory

Since March 18, Nestlé has closed two production lines at its factory near Caudry in the North in order to carry out analyses.

  • What are the symptoms of poisoning with E. Coli?

The health authorities recall the need to consult a doctor in the event of the appearance, within ten days after consumption of the pizza, of diarrhea, abdominal pain or vomiting.

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The consultation is also necessary if, within two weeks, signs of great fatigue, pallor, or a decrease in the volume of urine appear which become darker. “In the absence of symptoms within 15 days of consumption, it is also reminded that there is no need to worry”concludes the DGS.

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