The owner of a packaged food warehouse has yet to provide documentation or photographs of improvements made to his building since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) summer inspection found serious violations.

In an Oct. 26 warning letter, FDA told the owner of Bay Island Inc., based in Minnetonka, MN, about its alleged infractions of federal food safety regulations. Inside the packaged foods warehouse, the FDA inspectors found:

  • Two packaged food products were gnawed open and the product was missing.

  • A minimum of 15 rodent excreta pellets found along a wall separating the north and south warehouses.

  • Gnawed boxes and rodent urine were documented.

  • Dead mice were found in the north warehouse.

  • Rodent excreta and gnawed packages were found inn the center of the north warehouse.

  • Rodent excreta were found on top of a pallet.

  • Other boxes were gnawed open, and found with urine stains.

FDA inspectors also found that 10 of 12 loading dock doors were fully open without any screens or other control measures.   Two other doors leading to the exterior were also without screens or control measures and were near an overgrown area of foliage.

The warehouse dock doors were not fitted to create a seal and the brush plates were worn or absent on several doors.   Three dock doors on the southern side also lacked screening.

FDA said packaged food being held in the warehouse is adulterated because the insanitary conditions may have contaminated the products with filth or rendered them injurious to health.

“We acknowledge the discussion about corrections that took place between Mr. Benson and the inspectors on Aug. 2, 2010, and receipt of your written response on Aug. 12, 2010, to FDA-483, Inspectional Observations, issued to you at the close of inspection,” the FDA warning letter said.  “However, your response did not provide any documentation of the corrections or photographs of improvements made to the building.”

Dunn & Bradstreet reports Bay Island Inc. is a privately owned grocery wholesale company founded in 1990.

  • Definitely a serious situation. I’m reminded of the salmonella outbreak last year in a peanut products company where dozens of people who bought their products in retail establishments were sickend and nine died. Rodents and roaches are some of the most prolific of disease vectors. This company needs to take some aggressive action to correct the difficiencies and an equally aggressive approach to proactive control, going forward, before anyone is harmed.

  • Sandy

    I found out that Bay Island sells Christmas gifts at Wal-Mart and other retail outlets. They sell a Smores Kit with cocoa and Smores cups. They also sell coffee sets, tea sets, and some religious item called Daily Blessings tea sets. Don’t think I’ll be buying those for Christmas!

  • Passing Through

    They make the hot sauce gift packs sold through wal-mart.
    Wonder if Wal-Mart knows about this? Course, probably too late as a gazillion people bought those hot sauce gift packs for Christmas!