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FDA issues warnings to 3 dairy farms, 2 food importers

Three U.S. dairy farms and two food importers were on the receiving end of warning letters recently from the Food and Drug Administration.

The warning letters to the dairy farms cited animal drug violations involving antibiotics. The warnings to food companies in French Polynesia and Sri Lanka that import fish and juice to the U.S. concerned violations of food safety regulations related to hazard analysis and control programs.

William W. Van Norstrand, owner of the Vansridge Dairy in Scipio Center, N.Y., was warned about the sale of an animal for food that had illegal drug residue. FDA referenced the August 2015 sale and slaughter of a dairy cow that showed penicillin residue in kidney tissue of 0.058 parts per million (ppm) in analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). The FDA’s established tolerance lever is 0.05 ppm in uncooked, edible tissues of cattle.


The FDA warning letter said: “The presence of this drug in edible tissue from this animal in this amount causes the food to be adulterated …”

Another FDA warning letter went to the five managing partners of the Legacy Ranch #2 in Tulare, Calif., also over animal drug issues.

Dairy cows at the ranch received injections of sterile penicillin G procaine that did not follow the ranch veterinarian’s directions for use with regard to dosages per injection site and failure to meet the minimum withdrawal period before slaughter, according to the warning letter. The “extricable use” of the antibiotic was not under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, the letter from the FDA’s San Francisco district office said.


The Hawk Dairy Farm in Minerva, Ohio, was the third dairy farm to receive a warning letter, also regarding penicillin residue.

In March 2015 the farm sold a dairy cow for slaughter as food. The FSIS analysis of kidney tissue samples collected from the animal showed the presence of penicillin at 0.363 ppm, which is in excess of the federal 0.05 ppm tolerance level.

In addition, FDA said the Hawk Dairy holds “animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply.”

In warning letters to S.A.R.L. Pacific Tuna in French Polynesia, and to Target Agriculture in Sri Lanka, the FDA told the companies the United States will likely refuse admission to their products unless they quickly adopt the agency’s advice about Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

In the warning letters, FDA gives Pacific Tuna lengthy and specific instructions on how to comply with seafood HACCP regulations. The agency gives similar details instruction to Target Agriculture on juice HACCPs.


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