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Nestlé closes French frozen pizza factory

Nestlé is closing a frozen-pizza Buitoni factory in Caudry, France, roughly a year after it first stopped operations. In March 2022, an E. coli outbreak triggered the recall of Fraich’Up frozen raw dough. Baked pizza production had temporarily resumed in December, only to be again suspended in March, due to a steep drop in sales.

“With rising inflation and strong pan-European competition in the frozen pizza category, the market is unfortunately no longer at the level we hoped for, and order forecasts have been much lower than expected. On March  2, we therefore announced the temporary suspension of production at Caudry to avoid a situation where we produce and then destroy products. Following a thorough evaluation of different options for the site and meetings with key stakeholders, on March 30, Nestlé France presented a plan to permanently cease manufacturing and sales by the Société des Produits Alimentaires de Caudry (SPAC),” the company announced.

Nestlé France is working to find opportunities for affected employees, either elsewhere at Nestlé in the country or in the region, and to find a buyer for the site. The Caudry plant employed 120 people.

Reuters reports that, last year, French prosecutors opened a probe over the death of one person, the injuring of 14 others and breaches of food safety requirements which they alleged were linked to the E.coli outbreak at the factory, which produced frozen pizzas.

Photo: Pexels (#784636)