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Asian Canning Operations Under U.S. Scrutiny

Anyone who eats canned goods from China and Thailand — especially mushrooms and baby corn — may be glad to know that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cops have been busy on the Asian beat.

After low-acid canned food facilities in Liujing, China and Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand were inspected by FDA inspections last January, their owners both recently received warning letters.

China’s Guangxi Jisheng Foods Inc. and Thailand’s Great Oriental Food Products Co., Ltd were given 30 days to correct what FDA called “serious deviations” from U.S. low-acid canned food regulations.

If they fail to comply with the U.S. regulations, FDA may consider taking additional actions, including refusing their imports of low-acid canned food products. In such instances, FDA can block products offered for import to the U.S. without any need for any further inspection.

The warning letters said the canned goods coming from the two facilities are currently considered to be adulterated, by legal definition. FDA’s concerns about the Chinese cannery include:

— Heat distribution for canned mushrooms. Too much heat is being vented at same time.

— Written records. Evidence exists that records and forms are not being kept in real time, but made up later.

— Problems with hermetically sealed containers and storage of unlabeled and uncoded cans in the warehouse.

FDA’s concerns about the Thai canner, which processes baby corn, revolve around its failure to submit a “scheduled process” within 30 days after first use, and that it was processing baby corn in brine under a different method than the one described when it filed with the U.S. food safety agency.

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