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Regulatory Climate Sent HVP Maker Packing

Basic Food Flavors–the company at the center of the recall of foods containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein that may laced with a strain of Salmonella Tennessee–was born in California and fled to Nevada for a more favorable regulatory environment.

The North Las Vegas food Ingredient Company is not saying much today, but in 1990 it was the subject of a Forbes magazine article about its expansion to Nevada after encountering too many regulatory obstacles in Pomona, California.

Basic Food Flavors has apparently never looked back.  The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Basic Food Flavors has expanded several times since moving to the Las Vegas area two years ago. 

It now offers the food industry 120 varieties of hydrolyzed vegetable protein or HVP, which are used in all kinds of dips, soups, dressings, snack foods, and more.

Basic Food Flavors is a privately held company that does not make its financial information or employment figures public.  Its annual sales are estimated in the $20 to $50 million range and its employment at 50-99 workers.

Other than its equipment purchases and facility expansions, Basic Food Flavors has not been in the news much.  About eight years ago, it got into a contract dispute with Nevada architect Christopher T. Kourafas, who was hired to design a building and manage construction.

On its Web site, the HVP maker provides access to some of its documents–like its Health Permit from the Southern Nevada Health Department and a summary of its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. 

Food Safety News has asked the health department for a copy of its inspection reports on the company, but has not received them yet.

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Thursday held a press conference to announce it had found Salmonella Tennessee inside the food plant, Basic Food Flavors management has declined opportunities to comment offered by Food Safety News and other media outlets.

FDA learned about the Salmonella contamination from one of Basic’s customers who did some testing of the hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

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