Making tuna salad sandwiches or bakery products should not be that hard to understand, but two Maryland businesses are getting some help from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whether they want it or not.

FDA issued “Warning Letters” on Dec. 14 to Burgos Burgos Corporation, doing business as The Sandwich Lady, and JFD Enterprises Inc.’s Antonio’s Bakery. Both letters were released to the public Tuesday on FDA’s website.

Co-owners Hector and Manuel Burgos were told their Silver Spring-based seafood processing facility is violating seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations and the failure to implement a HACCP plan means its tuna salad sandwiches are adulterated.

FDA says The Sandwich Lady must conduct a hazard analysis for each kind of fish or fish product it produces and it must monitor sanitation conditions and practices during processing.   The processor was specifically warned about employees with beards or mustaches not wearing protective covering while making sandwiches.

The Burgos brothers were also told they must insure water safety, cleanliness of food contact surfaces, prevent cross contamination, provide proper hand washing and toilet facilities, control pests, monitor employee health, police handling of toxic chemicals, and protect food.

The Baltimore bakery owned by Santos A. Sanchez had its own problems.  Inspections over several days last summer found:

  • Live cockroaches crawling throughout the facility, including on rolling racks used to transport uncooked bread and out front where finished bread and rolls were being packaged and stored.
  • Live insects in an open container of raw ingredients, including in poppy seeds, sesame seeds, in dough conditioning material, and a container of shortening.
  • Dead insects in a mixing bowl, under a sink, and on the floor of an oven room.
  • A live mouse in a trap in the oven room.
  • Doors were opened, unscreened, leaving entry for pests.

FDA also outlined numerous other problems, including dirt, opened bags of flour, and trash and debris spread throughout the facility.

The Baltimore bakery also has misbranding problems, according to FDA. 

Both Maryland companies were given 15 working days to respond to the concerns the FDA expressed in the letters.