Aryzta insurer sues supplier for allegedly contaminating bread line

Gottstein metal-chip ‘negligence’ cost food company $650,000 at US plant, says filing

Aryzta bakery: the company alleges that contractor negligence in the US forced it to withdraw a product

Aryzta bakery: the company alleges that contractor negligence in the US forced it to withdraw a product

 

Insurers for Aryzta have launched legal action against a US company for allegedly spilling metal chips into equipment at the Irish-Swiss food group and contaminating bread and dough production lines at a facility in Pennsylvania.

A court action in Aryzta’s name has been filed in the United States against Gottstein Corporation, a contractor it had hired to build a metal walkway over its breadmaking machines at the plant, in Hazle Township.

The action says the alleged spillage, in December 2016, forced Aryzta to withdraw one of its food products, and cost about $650,000, or €525,000. The filing also accuses Gottstein of negligence and breach of contract, and alleges its work was unsafe as it contaminated the bread.

Gottstein has filed a response in recent weeks, denying liability and rejecting the allegations. It claims that any contamination of bread production lines was down to Aryzta’s “own negligence”.

The case has not yet been given a trial date. Aryzta said last night that, although it has been lodged in its name, the case is being pursued by its insurer, HDI, under subrogation rules after Aryzta made a claim.

It is the second alleged contamination issue at Aryzta’s Hazleton plant in recent years. In 2015 police officers took away “suspected heroin packages” that had been hidden in a dough machine. In that case Aryzta said that there had been no contamination of its bread and that this was confirmed by local department of agriculture officials.