Nestlé's Deadly Pizza Plant Will Be Back Up And Running In 2023

The French Nestlé production plant that was responsible for a significant E. coli outbreak is now set to reopen once again, per Food Safety News. The Caudry, France-based production plant has been given approval by French officials to restart some of its production lines. Notably, the product range that was linked to the E. coli outbreak will not be produced at the facility when it begins functioning again.

Food Safety News reports that between January and April 2022, there were 56 confirmed cases of E. coli throughout France that were linked to this facility. The contaminated product was the Buitoni line of Fraîch'Up frozen pizza which was determined to be the common element among the cases.

The Guardian claims that this outbreak was the worst food-borne illness case in 30 years, and resulted in at least two children's deaths, while others survived with long-term health complications. Food Safety News says that the outbreak was linked to the frozen pizza's main ingredient in their facility.

E.coli was found in the facility's flour supply

According to Food Safety News, one of the elements of restarting production at the plant was the dismantling and cleaning of 19,000 machine parts to ensure its safety. The plant will also only be permitted to produce products made with cooked dough. The Fraîch'Up frozen pizzas that were allegedly responsible for the outbreak are not included in this approval, and will not be produced at the plant. E.coli was found in these pizzas along with flour used at the facility when the criminal investigation into the incident began in May.

The CDC reports that one of the best ways to prevent the spread of E.coli is to ensure that foods are cooked completely. That is likely part of the reason only cooked dough products will be allowed to resume production. Freezing foods does not kill bacteria as effectively, and so despite the uncooked dough being frozen, the bacteria were able to survive within.

Nestlé is an enormous company whose many brands include the Buitoni frozen pizzas, Kit Kats, and countless cake and brownie batters as well. The Guardian reports that the criminal investigation of this incident remains ongoing and that it may be years before any parties are found liable.