Nestlé has announced that it is ceasing production at its Buitoni frozen pizza factory in Caudry, France, after its sales sharply declined following an E.coli outbreak at the facility last year.
Following a recall of the frozen raw dough pizzas sold under its Buitoni Fraich’Up brand in February 2022, Nestlé closed the Caudry factory for nine months. The site was reopened after renovations in December 2022; however, the Swiss giant suspended operations earlier this month, commenting that it was “being faced with order forecasts well below the expected volumes”.
Last year, multiple media outlets reported that the presence of E.coli found in the pizza dough, manufactured at the facility, was suspected to have resulted in the deaths of two children and to have poisoned approximately 50 other people.
The Swiss company said it is “committed to finding opportunities” internally and externally for all 140 employees at the facility, who will be paid through December.
Nestlé also noted that the “increasingly competitive frozen pizza market is evolving in an inflationary context,” citing this as another reason for the suspension of production at its Caudry site.
A spokesperson for Nestlé told FoodBev that this development “will not affect the ongoing operation of Nestlé’s pizza business in other markets”. The company also stated that Nestlé France is committed to finding a solid and lasting recovery solution for the factory so that the site can be used for a new industrial activity.
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