“I am outraged by the images I have seen,” says Olivier Véran

Faced with the testimony of a father whose child died after eating a Buitoni pizza, the Minister of Health said he was “devastated”.

Mr. Véran must take a stand with strong actions. Apologies are not enough. We’re asking to make sure these things don’t happen again“, declared, this Thursday on RMC, the father of an 8-year-old child who died after eating a Fraich’Up pizza from the Buitoni brand. “We are in the country where when there are children who die because industrialists do not respect the rules, we do nothing“, he hammered.

Faced with this live testimony, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran said to himself “devastatedby the death of the two children, linked to the consumption of one of these pizzas. “I saw the images in this factory, I am necessarily outraged. The pizza production lines were immediately suspended.“, he claimed. Shocking images of the Caudry factory, producer of these pizzas, had indeed been broadcast by RMC at the end of March.

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“A degraded level of food hygiene control”

The prefect of the North had, effectively, prohibited by a prefectural decree on April 1 the production of pizzas within the factory of Caudry, after “ two thorough hygiene inspectionscarried out on March 22 and 29 by agents from the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations (DDPP) in the North and the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF). These inspectionsrevealed a degraded level of food hygiene control“, then specified the decree. In particular, they pointed out:the presence of rodents and the absence of means of protection against the entry of pests and of effective pest control adapted to a food activity“, as well as the “lack of maintenance and cleaning of manufacturing, storage and passage areas“.

Questioned by the journalist Apolline de Malherbe on the fact that a first health alert had taken place in 2020 for this factory, the Minister of Health explained: ” when you have a control, you necessarily have a counter-visit. As for Buitoni, perhaps the measures had been well taken and the opinion of the counter-visit had given something. I don’t know because it does not fall within my ministerial scope“, he acknowledges.

As of May 4, 2022, 56 confirmed cases of hemolytic-uremic syndromes (HUS) and infections with shiga-toxin-producing E.coli bacteria (STEC) linked to the consumption of Buitoni brand Fraîch’Up pizzas have been identified by French Public Health. 55 children and 1 adult were affected, including two deaths.

SEE ALSO – “They lost their child’s soul”: the parents of two victims contaminated by the E.coli bacterium testify

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