bon vivant

Bon Vivant Soup Company

Bon Vivant was a manufacturer of French soups in Newark, New Jersey.


On July 2, 1971 the FDA released a public warning after learning that a Westchester County, New York man had died and his wife had become seriously ill from botulism after partly eating a can of Bon Vivant vichyssoise soup.

The company began a recall of the 6,444 cans of vichyssoise soup made in the same batch as the can known to be contaminated. The FDA then discovered that the company’s processing practices made questionable all products packed by the company. The FDA extended the recall to include all Bon Vivant products. The FDA ordered the shutdown of the company’s Newark, New Jersey plant on July 7, 1971. Five cans of soup out of 324 were found to be contaminated with botulin toxin, all in the initial batch of vichyssoise recalled.

The recall destroyed public confidence in the Bon Vivant name. Since Bon Vivant also marketed some of its production as store brands, this led many people to be suspicious of any soup on grocery store shelves. The company filed for bankruptcy within a month of the start of the recall. It changed its business name to Moore & Co.

The FDA resolved to destroy the company's stock of canned soup. Moore & Co. fought this proposed action in court until 1974.

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