According to Sante Publique reports, as of 04/25/2022, 55 confirmed cases have been identified, of which 53 are linked to STEC O26 strains, and 2 to STEC O103 strains. Earlier reports on 04/13/2022, indicated that another 26 other cases of HUS and STEC infections notified to Public Health France with investigations are ongoing. The 54 sick children are aged from 1 to 17 years with a median age of 7 years; 24 (44%) are female; 47 (87%) presented with HUS, 7 (13%) with STEC gastroenteritis. Two children died. The adult did not present with HUS.  In France, STEC surveillance is based only on HUS in children younger than 15, so it only catches the most severe cases of E. coli infection – LINK The epidemiological, microbiological and traceability investigations carried out since that date have confirmed a link between the occurrence of these grouped cases and the consumption of frozen pizzas from the Nestlé Buitoni brand Fraîch’Up contaminated with STEC bacteria.

My French is a bit rusty, so I missed the article on the former employee with a lot of very nasty photos.  Here is the translation and the photos.

RMC has obtained images of the Buitoni factory in Caudry (Nord) where the pizzas of the “Fraich’Up” range are produced, accused by the health authorities of being the cause of the poisoning with the bacteria E.Coli of dozens of children and the death of two of them.

Health authorities confirmed on Wednesday the link between Buitoni pizzas and the serious food poisoning of dozens of children, contaminated by the E.Coli bacteria.

It is in the Caudry factory, in the North, that the offending pizzas, those of the Fraich’Up range from Buitoni , are produced . Contaminations which shock but do not surprise a former employee, who left about a year ago, after 18 months at the Caudry factory, and who transmitted images of catastrophic hygiene conditions to RMC.

“We think it’s sanitized, everything is regulated. It’s supposed to be perfect but it’s not the reality, a lot of things are being hidden from us. I thought it was going to be fixed but there was no no change”, testifies this former employee , who had alerted his management and an independent media, ” Mr Mondialisation “.

“For 18 months, I talked about it and I was often told that ‘yes’, I was right and that precisely, they were seeing that and that it was going to change, but basically nothing was moving forward” , explains the former employee of Buitoni to RMC.

“When you see mushrooms on the wall, you know it’s not okay,” he says. “The paint on the metal bars was peeling off. There were bits of food that remained in some places for several days, several weeks,” laments the former Buitoni employee.

“In sauce recovery bins, you could find cigarette butts. Where the flour is sent on the carpets, so that the dough does not stick, there were mealworms. Most people did not wash not the hands, even coming back from the toilets. There was a cross contamination which was clear, it even surprises me that there was no accident before”, describes the former employee.