Listeria, salmonella… scandals are multiplying in agri-food chains

Guillaume Dominguez, edited by Thibault Nadal
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3:11 p.m., April 09, 2022

For several weeks, three bacteria, salmonella, Escherichia coli and listeria, have caused multiple scandals in the food industry. Several Ferrero and Buitoni factories had to be closed in Belgium. In France, a hundred contaminations have been identified, causing the death of two children.

A situation that provokes the fed up of consumers and the anger of distributors. For several weeks, scandals have been multiplying in the food industry, between Kinder chocolates, Buitoni pizzas or even raw milk cheeses. In all, more than a hundred French people have been infected to date.

Several factories closed in Belgium

The problem is that these contaminations of three different bacteria: in March, the bacterium Escherichia coli which caused the death of two children and contaminated around fifty people in France. It would come from a range of frozen pizzas from the Buitoni brand produced in the French factory in Caudry, in the North. Two health inspections highlight a lack of hygiene on the production line and the presence of rats in the factory. The prefect of the North ordered the closure of the site.

Last Monday, the Kinder brand recalled 20,000 confectioneries after the discovery of around 50 cases of salmonellosis in children across Europe. Its factory in Arlon, Belgium, was closed last night by the Belgian authorities.

Finally, it is the turn of the giant Lactalis to recall 24,000 cheeses last Tuesday, following the discovery of traces of the Listeria bacteria in raw milk. For Michel-Edouard Leclerc, boss of the Leclerc group, it’s the image of the food industry that takes a hit.” It’s a paradox because we could slip away and say these are big brands, but raw milk cheese, it is also forbidden in crafts and others, so the whole agri-food sector will have to give guarantees of quality”, he explained this Saturday morning on Europe 1.

At the same time, several associations are calling for more health checks on production chains.

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