contaminated Buitoni pizzas causing kidney failure in 75 children, health authorities confirm

An image of the bacterium

There is a link between Buitoni brand pizzas (Nestlé) and some recent cases of bacterial contamination Escherichia coli in French children, the health authorities announced on Wednesday March 30, recalling the need to destroy the products concerned.

Analysis “confirmed a link between several cases and the consumption of frozen pizzas from the Fraîch’Up range of the Buitoni brand contaminated with Escherichia coli bacteria”announced in a press release the Directorate General for Health (DGS), while a massive recall of all the pizzas marketed by the brand since June 2021 has already been initiated since mid-March.

“Beyond the checks, if consumers notice that Fraîch’Up pizzas of the Buitoni brand are still on the market, they are invited to file a report on the platform. SignalConso » adds the DGS in its press release.

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More than 100,000 pizzas produced per week

“Today we do not understand what could have happened, but we are going to develop an analysis protocol that we will submit to the authorities”said, for his part, Jérôme Jaton, industrial general manager of Nestlé, during a press conference on Wednesday. “I am wholeheartedly with these families who have cases of poisoning, often with young children”he added, recalling that a green number was set up (0800 22 32 42).

Since March 18, Nestlé has closed two production lines at its factory near Caudry (North) in order to carry out analyzes, explained Mr. Jaton. “We are ready to question ourselves completely on the potential causes”, he assured. It does not exclude contamination in the pizza dough.

The Fraîch’Up pizza range comes in nine different flavors – raclette, kebab, four cheeses, etc. Nestlé claims to produce between 100,000 and 150,000 pizzas per week.

Seventy-five cases already counted

Since the end of February, France has experienced a resurgence of cases of haemolytic and uraemic syndromes (HUS) linked to contamination with E.coli. These cases, which cause kidney failure, occur in children. Two of them died as a result of these contaminations.

In total, according to the latest count established on Wednesday, 41 serious cases have been identified and 34 additional are being assessed. These 75 cases 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). “Sick children are aged 1 to 18 years with a median age of 7 years”specifies the DGS.

Consult in case of pain or vomiting

Until now, health authorities believed there was a link “possibly” between these contaminations and the pizzas of the Fraîch’Up range. They had therefore already carried out a massive recall in mid-March, asking consumers to destroy these products. From now on, this link is established with certain contaminations, even if the authorities do not specify if this is the case for those which caused the two deaths.

They recall the need to consult a doctor in the event of the appearance, within ten days after eating the pizza, of diarrhoea, abdominal pain or vomiting. The consultation is also essential if, within a fortnight, signs of great fatigue, pallor, or a decrease in the volume of urine, which become darker, appear. “In the absence of symptoms within fifteen days of consumption, it is also reminded that there is no need to worry”concludes the DGS.

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The World with AFP

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