The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found multiple violations at a Los Angeles food manufacturer during an inspection last Sept. 23-30.   

Those findings — covering acidified foods, current good manufacturing processes, misbranding,  and grape juice being labeled in a way to make it unapproved new drug — are now the subject of a March 11 warning letter to Shemshad Food Products Inc.

The contents of that letter were made public Tuesday.

FDA found that vegetable stew, walnut stew, split pea stew, pickled turnip, pickled garlic, pickled eggplant, pickled asparagus, and chopped mix vegetables–all packaged in glass jars–were considered to be adulterated because they had been prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions, contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health.

According to FDA, the company failed to file a report on the processes it uses for its various acidified food precuts. It also failed to maintain process and production records. 

Each product must contain an identifying code, but FDA said it found numerous acidified food products, including vegetables, stews, and hot peppers, stored in the company’s warehouse without any identifying code.

FDA also said that the company failed to maintain plans for distributors to follow in the event of a recall.

Shemshad Food, according to the FDA inspectors, also came up short in regard to Current Good Manufacturing Processes (CGMP).  Among the infractions cited were:

— employees failing to change gloves as they went about different tasks between the food production area and the warehouse

— no hot water for hand washing

— cleaning and sanitizing agents were being stored among food ingredients

— a dust-covered fan was blowing particles on drying, ready-to-eat fruit snacks

— food and ingredients were being held in unmarked containers

FDA said a lime juice natural product was misbranded because it contained a synthetic chemical preservative called “sodium benzoat 1%.”  That makes the use of the word “natural” false and misleading, the agency stated. FDA had similar problems with the company’s sour cherry juice, chara-ghoroot lavaskake, and vegetable stew.

The label for the company’s Golchin Sour Grape Juice states that the product “helps lower high cholesterol,”  which FDA said establishes the product as intended for the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, meaning the juice is an unapproved drug.

Shemshad Food was given 15 working days to respond to FDA with its “current corrective actions” being taken in response to the warning letter.  It said the company’s Oct. 15 response to FDA’s Form 483 inspection report was inadequate.