The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent warning letters to five dairy farms for selling for slaughter animals with residues of illegal drugs in their systems. Illegal penicillin levels were found in the kidney tissues of animals sold by both Conklin Dairy Sales at Plain City, OH, and Crossbrook Farm in Middleburgh, NY. An animal sold by God’s Little Dairy near Lowville, NY, had too much cefazolin in its kidney tissue, and an animal from Willie Schmucker of Waterloo, NY, was found with the presence of sulfadimethoxine in the kidney tissue. From the Sterling Heights Dairy Farm in Sterling, OH, an animal was found with too much desfuroylceftiofur (a marker residue for ceftiofur) in the kidney tissue. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the drug residues after the animals were offered for slaughter and sale as meat for human consumption. In other recent warning letters, Easy Moon Inc. at Ramona, CA, received word that its egg production facility was in serious violation of regulations involving prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis, or SE. Among the violations at the egg production facility were:

  • No written SE prevention plan with SE prevention measures.
  • Pullets are not monitored for SE production from movement.
  • Failed to implement a written plan, including such work items as filling rodent holes.
  • Failed to remove debris inside and vegetation outside the poultry house, including dead chicken carcasses outside dairy facilities.
  • Failed to prevent wild birds from entering the poultry facility.
  • Failed to maintain records of compliance.

“Investigators observed numerous dead rodents (58 counted) in the egg laying house, and live rodents (9 counted) walking under chicken cages and running in and out of too-numerous-to-count holes in the dirt floor of the egg laying house,” the warning letter stated. “These observations suggest that the vegetation and debris in and around your poultry house are providing harborage for pests.” Walker’s Food Products Co. of North Kansas City, MO, also received a warning letter about “serious deviations from the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations” at its ready-t0-eat manufacturing facility. The FDA warning letter stated that a seafood HACCP must include the company’s various salads, including pathogenic bacteria growth control abuse and allergen hazards that are associated with them. Also it stated that critical control points must be listed and a thawing process included to prevent toxic formation. FDA also had concerns about proper labeling prior to distribution and urged the company to monitor sanitation conditions and practices. It also advised the company on proper use of employee hairnets. FDA ordered the company to keep floors, walls and ceilings in the plant clean and in good repair at all times. Some areas were observed to be “pitted and flaking rust.” Also observed by the FDA inspectors were frayed and heavily scored conveyors, which, along with other equipment and utensils, must be kept properly maintained.