When a business is found responsible for sickening people with a foodborne illness, the new normal is the filing of criminal charges. The latest to find that out is Delaware’s Roos Foods Inc., which shut down two years ago after the FDA revoked the company’s food facility registration over its role in a Listeria outbreak. roosfoods_406x250Not so long ago, that might have been the end of it. But in a era of stepped up involvement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in food safety enforcement, it is not that simple. Roos Foods Inc. pleaded guilty to the federal criminal misdemeanor of food adulteration on Thursday and a federal magistrate judge imposed a $100,000 fine. Roos Foods and its principals, Ana A. Roos and Virginia Mejia, agreed to plead guilty on Jan. 26. Magistrate Judge Sherry R. Fallon accepted the plea and imposed the fine on Thursday in U.S. District Court for Delaware. It was two years ago, when the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found five adults and three newborns were infected with Listeriosis from cheese manufactured by the Roos Foods manufacturing plant in Kenton, DE, that trouble began for the company. Investigators with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found numerous deficiencies in the Delaware cheese plant, including widespread roof leaks in manufacturing areas. FDA took environmental samples and found Listeria monocytogenes on a dozen surfaces. FDA suspended the food facility registration for Roos Foods on March 11, 2014. The company has not re-opened. The Roos Foods principals also agreed to the conditions of a permanent injunction that sets a very high bar to anyone to re-open their facility. When it was in operation, Roos Foods was a producer of several varieties of ready-to-eat cheeses, including ricotta, queso fresco and fresh cheese curd. Before it closed down, the company distributed produce in the Washington, DC, area including Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and the District of Columbia. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)