The latest available food-related warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) went out to a popcorn company in California and a dairy in Arizona. On June 21, 2016, FDA’s Los Angeles District Office in Irvine, CA, sent a warning letter to Popsalot LLC in Paramount, CA, telling the company that an inspection from March 14-23, 2016, had revealed violations of federal food labeling regulations. The agency noted that the company’s “Moroccan Mystique” gourmet flavored popcorn product was misbranded because it bears the claim “gluten-free” when the food does not comply with the definition of the term. “Specifically, we analyzed your product and found greater than 20 [parts per million] gluten,” the warning letter stated. “In addition, your website, www.popsalot.com, which is referenced on your label also states that every Popaslot recipe is gluten-free. The unavoidable presence of gluten in the food that bears a gluten-free claim must be below 20 ppm gluten … .” In addition, FDA told the firm that the number of servings per container appeared to be incorrect. “It is declared as ‘about 5’; however, if a bag contains 98 [grams] and a serving is 30g, then this would be approximately 3,” the letter stated. FDA also took issue with another labeling practice at Popsalot. “We note that the label bears an allergen advisory statement. We note that such statements must be truthful and not misleading and are not to be used in lieu of good manufacturing practices,” the agency wrote. D & E Dairy of Casa Grande, AZ, was sent a warning letter on April 7, 2016, from FDA’s Los Angeles District Office stating that violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act were found during an investigation of its “dairy farm ranch” on Dec. 7, 2015. The cited violations involved a cow sold for slaughter as food on or about Sept. 14, 2015, which later was found to contain sulfamethazine (an antibacterial drug) at 128.13 ppm in the liver and at 89.773 ppm in the muscle tissues, the agency’s letter stated. However, “FDA has established a tolerance of 0.1 ppm for residues of sulfamethazine in the uncooked edible tissues of cattle … ,” the letter continued, adding that the presence of this drug in tissues from this animal in these amounts causes the food to be adulterated. D & E Dairy was also told that it failed to maintain drug inventory records, drug treatment records did not include the route of administration of the dose administered, a drug was not used as directed by its approved labeling, and a drug was administered to a dairy cow without following the withdrawal period as stated in the approved labeling and without the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. These are all violations of federal regulations, FDA noted. 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.
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