Nestlé USA Sells Buitoni Unit; Recalls Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo

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Nestlé has confirmed a report that it is selling the North American Buitoni brand pasta and sauces business to a private equity firm as it focuses on higher performing frozen brands including Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine and Hot Pockets.

The confirmation was followed by a June 9 announcement from Brynwood Partners stating that its newly-formed portfolio enterprise, Buitoni Food Company, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Buitoni business from Nestlé USA for an undisclosed price. The transaction, which includes a 240,000-square-foot production plant in Danville, Virginia, is expected to close within the next 30 days, subject to customary regulatory review by government authorities.

Buitoni Food Company will be headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut and at the Danville manufacturing facility, with its approximately 525 full-time employees continuing to support the business. Buitoni is a leading national brand in the refrigerated pasta, sauces and cheese categories. The deal includes rights to the Buitoni brand in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

Buitoni Food Company will continue to manufacture Nestlé Toll House cookie dough products from the Virginia facility under a long-term supply agreement.

Nestlé Recalls Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the pasta front, Nestlé USA is in the midst of recalling a limited amount of its frozen Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo packs due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The products contain soy, a known allergen, as well as chicken, which are not declared on the label. The ready meals should not be consumed because people who are allergic to soy could have a negative reaction.

The following product is subject to recall: 9 ¼ oz. boxes, containing plastic trays, labeled “Lean Cuisine Favorites Fettuccini Alfredo” with a packaging date of April 22, 2020, “best before” date of May 2021, and batch code 0113587812. The “best before” date of May 2021 and batch code appear on the side of the package.

Due to a packaging error, some packages of Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo incorrectly contain Lean Cuisine Chicken Fettuccini. The ingredient statement on the impacted product applies to Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo and does not identify soy or chicken, which are in the Lean Cuisine Chicken Fettuccini. The product subject to recall does not bear the USDA mark of inspection because pasta products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A limited quantity of the product with mismatched packaging was distributed to retailers in the United States only. The product being recalled was produced on April 22, 2020. No other production dates of Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Alfredo and no other Lean Cuisine products are impacted by this recall.

The problem was discovered after Nestlé USA was contacted by consumers, and the company has been working closely with USDA’s Food safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on the recall.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an injury, illness or allergic reaction should contact a healthcare provider. Consumers who are allergic to soy or do not eat chicken are urged not to consume the product, which should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

For more information, contact the Lean Cuisine team here or call 1-800-993-8625.