The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on Sept. 22nd released a half dozen recent warning letters to food companies for violations of the federal food laws and regulations.

The Tuttle, OK-based WHB Cattle LLC offered a dairy cow for slaughter that United States Department of Agriculture testing showed contained the drug desfuroylceftiofur in edible tissues at higher than allowed tolerance levels.

“Our investigation also found that you hold animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply,” FDA’s Dallas District Director wrote.

Massachusetts-based Cumberland Farms Inc. was warned about its violations of several federal statues.  “Accordingly, your refrigerated, ready to eat, modified atmosphere packaged tuna fish sandwiches are adulterated, in a way that they may have been prepared, packaged or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” FDA’s New England District Director wrote.

The Mu Kung Hwa Food Manufacturing Company in Tacoma, WA was warned about its alleged violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations.

During an inspection in July, FDA personnel observed: 1.) Employees working in direct contact with food who failed to wash and sanitize their hands thoroughly; 2.) An exhaust vent dripping condensate on to rice products; 3.) Gaps in vents and doors that would allow pests to enter; 4.) Evidence of insects and rodents in food production areas; 5.) Use of utensils and equipment that were not clean nor sanitary; 6.) Clorox bleach found near a rice flour-milling machine; 7.) Same utensil used to cut products with and without walnuts without cleaning; 8.) Improper plumbing; 9.) Inadequate hand washing facilities; 10.) Packaging being conducted in area undergoing remodeling with open bags near painting equipment and other materials; and 11.) Mixed rice dough not covered and stored at ambient temperature.

Border Foods Inc. in Deming, NM was warned about several violations of acidified food regulations.  Border is accused of failing to provide FDA with a schedule for its processes for making jalapeno puree, red jalapeno puree, and no heat jalapeno puree.

It also did not dice green chilies and red green jalapenos according to its filed schedule.  Nor did Border keep a separate file or log to identify departures from the scheduled process.

Border did not calibrate thermometers used to monitor the heat treatment of its acidified foods; failed to marked containers with packing dates; and failed to protect containers from leakage.

Minnesota-based Pyramid Sprouters was warned about its unsanitary conditions “whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby they may be rendered injurious to health.” 

Pyramid has no hand-washing facilities and did not effectively clean equipment before sanitizing.  It was also accused of “misbranding” for failure to disclose “trans fat” content.

Finally, the Baltimore District Office warned Kohinoor Foods Inc. of New Delhi, India about misbranding of its Turkish Apricot, Almond, and Whole Moong products.

These letters have all been written since Sept. 1st.  FDA advises those receiving “Warning Letters” to respond within 15 days.   Under a new policy, FDA will report when and if the issues are addressed with a “close-out” letter.