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E.coli in France - frozen pizza

22 Mar 2022

Public health authorities in France (in French) have reported a nationwide outbreak of severe E. coli infection. Since the beginning of 2022, there have been 58 cases, including 2 child deaths.

The outbreak is linked to Fraîch'up brand frozen pizzas made by Buitoni. All frozen pizzas of this brand have been recalled by the manufacturer.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are bacteria that normally live in the stomach and intestines of people and animals. The poo from infected animals can sometimes contaminate water, soil, and the food that we eat.  E.coli is a common cause of travellers' diarrhoea.

Advice to Travellers

All travellers are potentially at risk of E. coli infection, regardless of which country you travel to, particularly if you consume contaminated food or water.  Symptoms of E.coli infection include:

  • feeling and being sick
  • upset stomach, tummy pain and diarrhoea
  • headache
  • high temperature (fever)

Older people and children are at increased risk of developing severe illness from E.coli infection. Always seek medical advice if you develop symptoms whilst travelling.

To minimise your risk of becoming infected, you should practice good hand hygiene and safe food and water precautions. This includes:

  • washing your hands before eating, preparing food and after using the toilet
  • ensure food is freshly cooked and piping hot
  • carefully wash fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs before eating them, and peel fruit and vegetables whenever possible
  • avoid unpasteurised milk or dairy products

You should also avoid contact with animals (such as cows, sheep, deer, goats) and their environment, and wash your hands thoroughly if contact with animals occur.

In relation to this particular outbreak, you should avoid eating Fraîch'up branded frozen pizzas and throw away any supplies of these pizzas in your freezer.

For further information see the Travellers Diarrhoea page.