Good Food, Good Life
Aerial view of Nestlé's corporate headquarters building in Vevey, Vaud
|Traded as||SIX: NESN
OTC Pink: NSRGY
|Founded||Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company (1866)
Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé (1867)
Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company (1905)
|Founder||Henri Nestlé, Charles Page, George Page|
|Headquarters||Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland|
|Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chairman)
Paul Bulcke (CEO)
Wan Ling Martello (CFO)
|Products||Baby food, coffee, dairy products, breakfast cereals, confectionery, bottled water, ice cream, pet foods (list...)|
|Revenue||CHF 92.16 billion (2013)|
|CHF 13.07 billion (2013)|
|Profit||CHF 10.02 billion (2013)|
|Total assets||CHF 120.44 billion (2013)|
|Total equity||CHF 64.14 billion (2013)|
Number of employees
Nestlé S.A. (French pronunciation: [nɛsle]; English //, //, //) is a Swiss multinational food and beverage company headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland. It is the largest food company in the world measured by revenues.
Nestlé’s products include baby food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks. Twenty-nine of Nestlé’s brands have annual sales of over CHF1 billion (about US$1.1 billion), including Nespresso, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Smarties, Nesquik, Stouffer’s, Vittel, and Maggi. Nestlé has 447 factories, operates in 194 countries, and employs around 333,000 people. It is one of the main shareholders of L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company.
Nestlé was formed in 1905 by the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1866 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé. The company grew significantly during the First World War and again following the Second World War, expanding its offerings beyond its early condensed milk and infant formula products. The company has made a number of corporate acquisitions, including Crosse & Blackwell in 1950, Findus in 1963, Libby’s in 1971, Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988, and Gerber in 2007.
Nestlé has a primary listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange and is a constituent of the Swiss Market Index. It has a secondary listing on Euronext. In 2011, Nestlé was listed No. 1 in the Fortune Global 500 as the world’s most profitable corporation. With a market capitalization of US$233 billion, Nestlé ranked No. 9 in the FT Global 500 2013.
Nestlé’s origins date back to 1866, when two separate Swiss enterprises were founded that would later form the core of Nestlé. In the succeeding decades, the two competing enterprises aggressively expanded their businesses throughout Europe and the United States.
In August 1867, Charles (US consul in Switzerland) and George Page, two brothers from Lee County, Illinois, USA, established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Cham, Switzerland. Their first British operation was opened at Chippenham, Wiltshire, in 1873.
In September 1866, in Vevey, Henri Nestlé developed a milk-based baby food, and soon began marketing it. The following year saw Daniel Peter begin seven years of work perfecting his invention, the milk chocolate manufacturing process. Nestlé’s was the crucial cooperation that Peter needed to solve the problem of removing all the water from the milk added to his chocolate and thus preventing the product from developing mildew. Henri Nestlé retired in 1875 but the company, under new ownership, retained his name as Société Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé.
In 1877, Anglo-Swiss added milk-based baby foods to their products; in the following year, the Nestlé Company added condensed milk, such that the firms became direct and fierce rivals.
In 1905, the companies merged to become the Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, retaining that name until 1947, when the name ‘Nestlé Alimentana SA’ was taken as a result of the acquisition of Fabrique de Produits Maggi SA (founded 1884) and its holding company, Alimentana SA, of Kempttal, Switzerland. Maggi was a major manufacturer of soup mixes and related foodstuffs. The company’s current name was adopted in 1977. By the early 1900s, the company was operating factories in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain. The First World War created demand for dairy products in the form of government contracts, and, by the end of the war, Nestlé’s production had more than doubled.
Nestlé felt the effects of the Second World War immediately. Profits dropped from US$20 million in 1938, to US$6 million in 1939. Factories were established in developing countries, particularly in Latin America. Ironically, the war helped with the introduction of the company’s newest product, Nescafé (“Nestlé’s Coffee”), which became a staple drink of the US military. Nestlé’s production and sales rose in the wartime economy.
After the war, government contracts dried up, and consumers switched back to fresh milk. However, Nestlé’s management responded quickly, streamlining operations and reducing debt. The 1920s saw Nestlé’s first expansion into new products, with chocolate-manufacture becoming the company’s second most important activity. Louis Dapples was CEO till 1937, when succeeded by Édouard Muller till his death in 1948.
The end of World War II was the beginning of a dynamic phase for Nestlé. Growth accelerated and numerous companies were acquired. In 1947 Nestlé merged with Maggi, a manufacturer of seasonings and soups. Crosse & Blackwell followed in 1950, as did Findus (1963), Libby’s (1971) and Stouffer’s (1973). Diversification came with a shareholding in L’Oreal in 1974. In 1977, Nestlé made its second venture outside the food industry, by acquiring Alcon Laboratories Inc.
In the 1980s, Nestlé’s improved bottom line allowed the company to launch a new round of acquisitions. Carnation was acquired for $3 billion in 1984 and brought the evaporated milk brand, as well as Coffee-Mate and Friskies to Nestlé. The confectionery company Rowntree Mackintosh was acquired in 1988 for $4.5 billion, which brought brands such as Kit Kat, Smarties and Aero.
The first half of the 1990s proved to be favourable for Nestlé. Trade barriers crumbled, and world markets developed into more or less integrated trading areas. Since 1996, there have been various acquisitions, including San Pellegrino (1997), Spillers Petfoods (1998), and Ralston Purina (2002). There were two major acquisitions in North America, both in 2002 – in June, Nestlé merged its U.S. ice cream business into Dreyer’s, and in August a US$2.6 billion acquisition was announced of Chef America, the creator of Hot Pockets. In the same time-frame, Nestlé came close to purchasing the iconic American company Hershey’s, one of its fiercest confectionery competitors, although the deal eventually fell through.[better source needed] Another recent purchase included the Jenny Craig weight-loss program, for US$600 million.
In December 2005, Nestlé bought the Greek company Delta Ice Cream for €240 million. In January 2006, it took full ownership of Dreyer’s, thus becoming the world’s largest ice cream maker, with a 17.5% market share.
In December 2007, Nestlé entered into a strategic partnership with a Belgian chocolate maker, Pierre Marcolini.
Nestlé agreed to sell its controlling stake in Alcon to Novartis on 4 January 2010. The sale was to form part of a broader US$39.3 billion offer, by Novartis, for full acquisition of the world’s largest eye-care company.
On 1 March 2010, Nestlé concluded the purchase of Kraft Foods's North American frozen pizza business for $3.7 billion.
In July 2011, Nestlé SA agreed to buy 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd. for about $1.7 billion. On 23 April 2012, Nestlé agreed to acquire Pfizer Inc.'s infant-nutrition unit for $11.9 billion. Before the acquisition, there was a 'bidding war' between the three shareholders Nestlé, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Danone. Each of the companies held a share, with Nestlé holding the biggest share (17%) (Johnson held 15%, Danone 13%).
As of 28 May 2013, Nestlé has announced that it will expand R&D in its research center in Singapore. With a primary focus on health and nutrition, Nestlé is investing $4.3 million in its Singapore center, creating 20 jobs for experts in related R&D fields. In 2013 Nestlé Nigeria successfully pioneered and implemented the use of compressed natural gas as a fuel source to power their Flowergate factory.
Nestlé has 8,000 brands, with a wide range of products across a number of markets, including coffee, bottled water, milkshakes and other beverages, breakfast cereals, infant foods, performance and healthcare nutrition, seasonings, soups and sauces, frozen and refrigerated foods, and pet food.
As of year end 2010, Nestlé held 29.7% of the shares of L'Oréal, the world's largest company in cosmetics and beauty. Its brands including Garnier, Maybelline, and Lancôme as well as The Body Shop stores. L’Oréal holds 10.41% of the shares of Sanofi-Aventis, the world's number 3 and Europe's number 1 pharmaceutical company.
The executive board, a distinct entity from the board of directors, includes:
- Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the board of directors, Nestlé S.A.
- Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer, Nestlé S.A.
- Stefan Catsicas, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A., Chief Technology Officer, Head of Innovation, Technology, Research & Development
- Laurent Freixe, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Europe
- Nandu Nandkishore, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Asia, Oceania, Africa, Middle East
- Chris Johnson, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Americas (United States of America, Canada, Latin America, Caribbean)
- Jose Lopez, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Operations
- John J. Harris, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Chairman & CEO of Nestlé Waters
- Wan Ling Martello, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. CFO Finance and Control, Legal, IP, Tax, Global Nestlé Business Services
- Marco Settembri, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Head of Nestlé Waters
- Luis Cantarell, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Head of Nestlé Nutrition and CEO Nestlé Health Science
- Patrice Bula, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Strategic Business Units, Marketing and Sales
- Martial Rolland, Deputy Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A. Head of Nestlé Professional
- Peter Vogt, Deputy Executive Vice President Nestlé S.A. Head of Human Resources
- David P. Frick, Senior Vice President and ex officio Member of the Executive Board, Corporate Governance, Compliance and Corporate Services
According to a 2006 global survey of online consumers by the Reputation Institute, Nestlé has a reputation score of 70.4 on a scale of 1–100.
Nestlé is the biggest food company in the world, with a market capitalisation of roughly 210 billion Swiss francs, which is more than 200 billion U.S. dollars.
- Sales by activity breakdown
- 29% from all beverages (except dairy)
- 22% from drinks (coffee, tea, etc.; except water and dairy)
- 7% from bottled water
- 19% from dairy products
- 15% from ready-prepared dishes and ready-cooked dishes
- 13% from Nestlé Nutrition (including baby food) and HealthCare
- 12% from pet products
- 11% from chocolate, candies, other sweets
- 29% from all beverages (except dairy)
- Sales by geographic area breakdown
- 44% from Americas (25% from US)
- 28% from Europe
- 28% from Asia, Oceania and Africa
- Cereal Partners Worldwide with General Mills
- Beverage Partners Worldwide with The Coca-Cola Company
- Lactalis Nestlé Produits Frais with Lactalis (40%/60%)
- Nestlé Colgate-Palmolive with Colgate-Palmolive (50%/50%)
- Nestlé Indofood Citarasa Indonesia with Indofood (50%/50%)
- Nestlé Snow with Snow Brand Milk Products (50%/50%)
- Nestlé Modelo with Grupo Modelo
- World Cocoa Foundation
In 2000, Nestlé and other chocolate companies formed the World Cocoa Foundation. The WCF was set up specifically to deal with issues facing cocoa farmers, including ineffective farming techniques and poor environmental management (disease had wiped out much of the cocoa crop in Brazil). The WCF focuses on boosting farmer income, encouraging sustainable farming techniques, and setting up environmental and social programmes.
- Sustainable Agriculture Initiative
Together with Danone and Unilever, Nestlé founded the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) in 2002 to help on worldwide scale with the implementation and promotion of sustainable agriculture. Within the framework of SAI, Nestlé has worked with farmers to elaborate best practices in the areas of milk production and coffee and cocoa growing.
Concerns of SAI also include quality and safety problems in the food supply chain; the growing demand for quality food that will arise from population growth; the well being of rural communities; animal welfare; and environmental and biodiversity aspects of agriculture.
- Creating Shared Value
Creating Shared Value (CSV) is a business concept intended to encourage businesses to create economic and social value simultaneously by focusing on the social issues that they are capable of addressing. In 2006, Nestlé adopted the CSV approach, focusing on three areas – nutrition, water and rural development – as these are core to their business activities.
In October 2009, Nestlé announced its 'The Cocoa Plan'. The company intend to invest CHF 110 million over ten years to achieve a sustainable cocoa supply. On 23 October 2009, Nestlé and CNRA (the Ivorian National Centre for Plant Science Research), signed a frame agreement for cooperation in plant science and propagation, with a target of producing 1 million high-quality, disease-resistant cocoa plantlets a year by 2012. The aim is to replace old, less productive trees with healthier new ones.
In September 2011, Nestlé introduced ‘The Cocoa Plan’ in the Netherlands. The initiative is an extensive approach in which Nestlé focuses on improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers. The five main focus points within the program are: better quality cocoa plants, train farmers, chain management, improved social circumstances and cooperation with partners. KitKat is the first product in the Netherlands which carries the logo of The Cocoa Plan on pack. This means that Nestlé will source the cocoa volume needed to produce all KitKat’s in the Netherlands from cocoa farmers and cooperatives that participate in The Cocoa Plan. Part of these farmers and cooperatives are already certified by UTZ Certified, a certification program for agricultural products launched in 2002 which claims to be the largest coffee certifier in the world.
Nestlé made the commitment with UTZ Certified to source only sustainable cocoa by 2014.
On 22 June 2009, Nestlé Nespresso and Rainforest Alliance signed a pact called "Ecolaboration". One of the shared goals is to reduce the environmental impacts and increase the social benefits of coffee cultivation in enough tropical regions so that 80 percent of Nespresso's coffee comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms by the year 2013. Certified farms comply with comprehensive standards covering all aspects of sustainable farming, including soil and water conservation, protection of wildlife and forests, and ensuring that farm workers, women and children have all the proper rights and benefits, such as good wages, clean drinking water, access to schools and health care and security.
- Expanding Business in Health Care Nutrition
In September 2010, Nestlé announced to invest more than $500 million between 2011 and 2020 to develop health and wellness products to help prevent and treat major ailments like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s, which are placing an increasing burden on governments at a time when budgets are being squeezed. Nestlé created a wholly owned subsidiary, Nestlé Health Science, as well as a research body, the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences.
- Member of Fair Labour Association
In 2011, Nestlé started to work with the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a non-profit, multi-stakeholder association that works with major companies to improve working conditions in their supply chains.
On 29 February 2012, Nestlé became the first food company to join the FLA. Building on Nestlé's efforts under the Cocoa Plan, the FLA will send independent experts to Côte d’Ivoire in 2012 and where evidence of child labour is found, the FLA will identify root causes and advise Nestlé how to address them in sustainable and lasting ways.
- Good Food, Good Life
In Russia, the programme has been introduced in 27 regions. Over 300,000 children in 5,000 schools are annually involved in the programme, and in total nearly 1,5 million Russian children have learned about good nutrition as a result of it.
In 1993, plans were made to update and modernize the overall tone of Walt Disney's EPCOT Center, including a major refurbishment of The Land pavilion. Kraft Foods withdrew its sponsorship on 26 September 1993, with Nestlé taking its place. Co-financed by Nestlé and the Walt Disney World Resort, a gradual refurbishment of the pavilion began on 27 September 1993. In 2003, Nestlé renewed its sponsorship of The Land; however, it was under agreement that Nestlé would oversee its own refurbishment to both the interior and exterior of the pavilion. Between 2004 and 2005, the pavilion underwent its second major refurbishment. Nestlé’s withdrawal from the Land dates back from 2009.
- Music festivals
On 5 August 2010, Nestlé and the Beijing Music Festival signed an agreement to extend by three years Nestlé's sponsorship of this international music festival. Nestlé has been an extended sponsor of the Beijing Music Festival for 11 years since 2000. The new agreement will continue the partnership through 2013.
Nestlé's sponsorship of the Tour de France began in 2001 and the agreement was extended in 2004, a move which demonstrated the company’s interest in the Tour. In July 2009, Nestlé Waters and the organisers of the Tour de France announced that their partnership will continue until 2013. The main promotional benefits of this partnership will spread on four key brands from Nestlé's product portfolio: Vittel, Powerbar, Nesquik or Ricore.
On 27 January 2012, the International Association of Athletics Federations announced that Nestlé will be the main sponsor for the further development of IAAF's Kids' Athletics Programme, which is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes in the world of sports. The five-year sponsorship started in January 2012.
Nestlé supports the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) on a number of nutrition and fitness fronts, funding a full-time member of the AIS Sports Nutrition team, an athlete career scholarships for young athletes, and customised nutrition literature for athletes and all Australians. In particular, Nestlé and the AIS have developed free nutrition educational resources for school teachers. Over 60% of Australian primary schools have downloaded this information since the program's inception.
Other sponsorships of sports-related events include FIVB Women's Club World Championship, Tour de Langkawi, São Paulo Indy 300, Osasco Voleibol Clube, Mentor Nestlé Nesquik Cup, Southeast Asian Games, Sukma Games, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
- In May 2006, Nestlé’s executive board decided to adapt the existing Nestlé management systems to full conformity with the international standards ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems), and to certify all Nestlé factories against these standards by 2010. In the meanwhile a lot of the Nestlé factories have obtained these certifications. For instance, Nestlé’s three factories in Japan (Himeji factory: Hyōgo Prefecture, Shimada factory: Shizuoka Prefecture and Kasumigaura factory: Ibaraki Prefecture) have each obtained ISO standard certifications: ISO14001, ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management Systems) and OHSAS 18001 as of the end of December 2008.
- In 2009, Nestlé Waters earned a sixth LEED certification. The certification was given by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design which the company become its first recipient. It highlights the environmentally conscious elements of the facility which enables them to receive the certification.
- Nestlé Purina received in 2010 the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for their excellence in the areas of leadership, customer and market focus, strategic planning, process management, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus and results.
- In September 2011, Nestlé occupied 19th position in the Universum's global ranking of Best Employers Worldwide. According to a survey by Universum Communications Nestlé was in 2011 the best employer to work for in Switzerland.
- For the twelfth consecutive year, Fortune Magazine included in 2011 Nestlé in their list of The 10 Most Admired Companies in the World.
- The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) honoured Nestlé in 2010 with the Global Food Industry Award.
- In May 2011, Nestlé won the 27th World Environment Center (WEC) Gold Medal award for its commitment to environmental sustainability.
- On 19 April 2012, The Great Place to Work® Institute Canada mentioned Nestlé Canada Inc. as one of the '50 Best Large and Multinational Workplaces' in Canada (with more than 1,000 employees working in Canada and/or worldwide).
- In April 2012, Nestlé obtained an A+ rating from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for their global annual report on Creating Shared Value. To reach A+ the company provided new data in their annual report on a number of criteria such as human rights, diversity and gender, climate change, biodiversity and corruption. Nestlé was the first food and beverage company to achieve an A+ rating from the GRI for a global sustainability report.
- On 21 May 2012, Gartner published their annual Supply Chain Top 25, a list with global supply chain leaders. Nestlé ranks 18th in the list.
- In June 2014, Nestlé was awarded the International Coaching Federation's Prism Award in Switzerland for outstanding organisational coaching.
Production and consumer issues
- Nestlé baby formula boycott
A boycott was launched in the United States on July 7, 1977, against the Swiss-based Nestlé corporation. It spread in the United States, and expanded into Europe in the early 1980s. It was prompted by concern about Nestlé's "aggressive marketing" of breast milk substitutes, particularly in less economically developed countries (LEDCs), largely among the poor. In May 2011, the debate over Nestlé's unethical marketing of infant formula was relaunched in the Asia-Pacific region. Nineteen leading Laos-based international NGOs, including Save the Children, Oxfam, CARE International, Plan International and World Vision have launched a boycott of Nestlé and written an open letter to the company. Among other unethical practices, the NGOs criticised the lack of labelling in Laos and the provision of incentives to doctors and nurses to promote the use of infant formula.
- Ethiopian debt (2002)
In 2002, Nestlé demanded that the nation of Ethiopia repay US$6 million of debt to the company. Ethiopia was suffering a severe famine at the time. Nestlé backed down from its demand after more than 8,500 people complained via e-mail to the company about its treatment of the Ethiopian government. The company agreed to re-invest any money it received from Ethiopia back into the country.
- Child labour by suppliers (2005)
In 2005, after the cocoa industry had not met the Harkin-Engel Protocol deadline for certifying the worst forms of child labor (according to the International Labor Organization's Convention 182) had been eliminated from cocoa production, the International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit in 2005 under the Alien Tort Claims Act against Nestlé and others on behalf of three Malian children. The suit alleged the children were trafficked to Côte d'Ivoire, forced into slavery, and experienced frequent beatings on a cocoa plantation. In September 2010, the US District Court for the Central District of California determined corporations cannot be held liable for violations of international law and dismissed the suit. The case was appealed to the US Court of Appeals.
The 2010 documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate brought attention to purchases of cocoa beans from Ivorian plantations that use child slave labour. The children are usually 12 to 15 years old, and some are trafficked from nearby countries. The first allegations that child slavery is used in cocoa production appeared in 1998. In late 2000, a BBC documentary reported the use of enslaved children in the production of cocoa in West Africa. Other media followed by reporting widespread child slavery and child trafficking in the production of cocoa. In September 2001, Bradley Alford, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA, signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol (commonly called the Cocoa Protocol), an international agreement aimed at ending child labour in the production of cocoa.
- Chocolate price fixing (2007)
In Canada, the Competition Bureau raided the offices of Nestlé Canada (along with those of Hershey Canada Inc. and Mars Canada Inc) in 2007 to investigate the matter of price fixing of chocolates. It is alleged that executives with Nestlé, the maker of KitKat, Coffee Crisp and Big Turk, colluded with competitors in Canada to inflate prices.
The Bureau alleged that competitors' executives met in restaurants, coffee shops and at conventions and that Nestlé Canada CEO, Robert Leonidas once handed a competitor an envelope containing his company’s pricing information, saying: “I want you to hear it from the top – I take my pricing seriously.”
Nestlé and the other companies were subject to class-action lawsuits for price fixing after the raids were made public in 2007. Nestlé settled for $9 million, without admitting liability, subject to court approval in the new year. A massive class-action lawsuit continues in the United States.
Former Nestlé Canada CEO Robert Leonidas is under threat of a criminal charge for his role in the price fixing of chocolates in Canada when he was at the helm of Nestlé Canada from 2006 to 2010.
- Melamine in Chinese milk (2008)
In late September 2008, the Hong Kong government found melamine in a Chinese-made Nestlé milk product. Six infants died from kidney damage, and a further 860 babies were hospitalised. The Dairy Farm milk was made by Nestlé's division in the Chinese coastal city Qingdao. Nestlé affirmed that all its products were safe and were not made from milk adulterated with melamine. On 2 October 2008, the Taiwan Health ministry announced that six types of milk powders produced in China by Nestlé contained low-level traces of melamine, and were "removed from the shelves".
- Packaging claims (2008)
A coalition of environmental groups filed a complaint against Nestlé to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards after Nestlé took out full-page advertisements in October 2008 claiming that "Most water bottles avoid landfill sites and are recycled", "Nestlé Pure Life is a healthy, eco-friendly choice" and that "Bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world." A spokesperson from one of the environmental groups stated: "For Nestlé to claim that its bottled water product is environmentally superior to any other consumer product in the world is not supportable." In their 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report, Nestlé themselves stated that many of their bottles end up in the solid-waste stream, and that most of their bottles are not recycled. The advertising campaign has been called greenwashing.
- E. coli (2009)
In June 2009, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 was linked to Nestlé's refrigerated cookie dough originating in a plant in Danville, Virginia. In the US, it caused sickness in more than 50 people in 30 states, half of whom required hospitalization. Following the outbreak, Nestlé voluntarily recalled 30,000 cases of the cookie dough. The cause was determined to be contaminated flour obtained from a raw material supplier. When operations resumed, the flour used was heat-treated in order to kill bacteria.
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