Six dairy operations and a manufacturer of ready-to-eat ice cream cones were recently sent warning letters by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA’s letter dated Feb. 3, 2015, to Dutchman’s Bakeshop LLC in Waynesboro, VA, stated that inspectors had found apparent insects and rodent excreta pellets throughout the production area during a Nov. 3-12, 2014, visit to the facility, and that there was also failure to provide adequate screening or other protection against pests. The same problems had been observed during a previous inspection in July 2013, the letter added. While FDA noted that, due to the “apparent insect activity,” the company had agreed to destroy finished product it had manufactured and/or purchased, the letter further stated that, “we are concerned with your continued inability to take effective measures to exclude pests … .” Barrington Dairy Farm in Live Oak, FL, was told in a Feb. 2 FDA letter that tissue sampling had identified unacceptable levels of desfuroylceftiofur (marker residue for ceftiofur) in dairy cows slaughtered as food and that cephalosporin (Excenel RTU EZ and Naxcel) had been used in unapproved dosages and routes of administration and not under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Further, FDA alleged that buyer/shipper documents were signed specifying that dairy cows being sold for slaughter as food were free of illegal amounts of antibiotic residues. “Providing such a false guaranty is prohibited” by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the letter stated, adding, “You should take appropriate actions to ensure that this violation does not recur.” Unacceptable levels of desfuroylceftiofur were also found in the tissues of a dairy cow sold for slaughter as food by West Hope Dairy LLC in Saltvilla, VA, according to a Feb. 3, 2015, FDA warning letter. FDA’s Jan. 26, 2015, letter to Lussier Dairy in Hawthorne, FL, stated that unacceptable levels of desfuroylceftiofur and pencillin had been found in tissue samples from dairy cows sold for slaughter as food. Further, the agency stated that Bactracillin G (Penicilllin G Procaine, NADA 065-010) and Excede (Ceftiofur Crystalline Free Acid, NADA-141-209) were not used as directed by their approved labeling or veterinary prescription, resulting in an extralabel use. The dairy responded with voluntary corrections, which FDA stated “will be verified at the next scheduled inspection of your farm.” A bob veal calf sold by Bezon Farms Inc. in Elba, NY, was found to have florfenicol and sulfamethoxazole in kidney tissue samples, FDA stated in a Jan. 29, 2015, letter. “FDA has not established a tolerance for residues of florfenicol and sulfamethoxazole in the edible tissues of calves intended for slaughter for veal,” the letter continued, which causes the food to be adulterated. FDA sent a Jan. 30, 2015, letter to R & Z Farms Inc. in Conrath, WI, indicating that a dairy cow had been sold as slaughter for food with unacceptable levels of penicillin in its kidney tissue. Also, FDA stated that the presence of oxyphenylbutazone, a metabolite of phenylbutazone, was detected in the kidney tissue. There is no acceptable level of residue in cattle for the latter drug, the letter stated. The agency further asserted that sterile penicillin G procaine injectable suspension and Phenylbutazone (phenylbutazone tablets) had not been used as directed by approved labeling and not under supervision of a licensed veterinarian, and that a delivery ticket had been signed certifying that a cow later found to have residues of penicillin and oxyphenylbutazone was “drug and bonemeal free.” Daniel W. Nickerson Farm in Scio, NY, was told in a Jan. 30, 2015, letter from FDA that three bob veal calves sold for slaughter as food were adulterated because of unacceptable levels of neomycin residue in kidney tissues. While the agency noted there is a tolerance level for neomycin levels in the kidney tissues of cattle, this does not apply to the use of medicated feed supplement in bob veal calves and that “there is no acceptable level of residue associated with the use of this drug (neomycin) in calves intended for veal.” FDA acknowledged a response from the dairy operation but indicated that it was not adequate because drug treatment records, even after corrective action, still lacked some information such as drug dosage administered, route of administration, and the reason for treatment. “Additionally, your response does not mention any plan to record this particular information in future drug treatment records,” the letter stated. In each letter, FDA requested that the companies provide written responses detailing steps taken to bring the facilities into compliance with food-safety laws and regulations, to correct violations cited in the letters, and to prevent their recurrence. Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.