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Several Food Companies Receive Warning Letters After FDA Inspection

Government warning letters to several food companies were released this week. Food Safety News earlier reported on problem with sprout production at Henrys Farms in Virginia. Other warning letter activity includes:

– Chu Minh Corp., doing business as Chu Minh Tofu in Seattle, received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documenting “serious violations ” of current good manufacturing practices (GMP).

FDA found tofu manufactured by Chu Minh to be adulterated under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because its been prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions where it was contaminated by filth or rendered injurious to health.

The seven-page warning letter includes many specific concerns about insanitary conditions inside the tofu manufacturing facility. FDA inspectors visited the facility several times last March.

Among the agency’s concerns were live birds and insects in production areas, mishandling of fresh tofu, evidence of both live and death rodents in the packaging room and an unscreened production room door. In addition, Chu Minh needs to fix a long list of mislabeling errors, FDA said.

– The FDA sent a warning letter on Sept. 6 to Yangpo Foods Co., Ltd located in Pahang, Korea. FDA had inspected the seafood manufacturing facility in April. Yangpo responded in writing on May 11 to the 48 observations made by the inspection team.

FDA said the firm’s canned mackerel and canned mackerel and pike in brine are adulterated products because it does not have an adequate Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) in place for producing these foods.

– A Sept. 5 warning letter was sent to Trans-Pacific Assets Management by FDA, telling the company it is in “serious violation” of the seafood HACCP regulations. The agency expressed concerns about sardines in tomato sauce, mackerel in natural oil and dried herring with garlic in olive oil imported from the Philippines.

Those products were prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions, according to FDA.

The Hayward, CA-based company was also told in the warning letter that it might be required to pay re-inspection fees.

– The owner of a food processing facility for the Maui Jelly Factory and Maui Fudge and Ono Chocolates has received a Sept. 5 warning letter from FDA as a follow up to inspections last May.

MDK Enterprises Inc. – also on the island of Maui, Hawaii – received a warning letter about its food processing facility located in Wailuku. The facility makes acidified food and FDA says it faces “significant deviations” from acidified food regulations.

FDA is concerned about MDR’s manufacture of Mango Butter, which it said is adulterated because of those deviations. Violations involve thermal processing, pH levels and product coding.

Food companies that receive warning letters are generally given 15 days to respond to issues raised by FDA. Sometimes, if the government and the food company reach agreement on how to handle all the issues raised, FDA will post a “close-out” letter on its website.

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