The most recently posted FDA warning letters address Listeria contamination at an ice cream plant, drug residues in slaughtered dairy cows, and an alleged failure to follow federal regulations for the safe processing of acidified foods. FDA’s Cincinnati District Office sent a warning letter dated Aug. 9 to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams LLC to inform the company that Listeria monocytogenes had been found for the second time at its ice cream plant in Columbus, OH. FDA’s letter also noted repeat violations of current good manufacturing practices at the facility during an inspection from Jan. 25 through Feb. 9. Food Safety News posted a separate story on Aug. 24 about the FDA warning letter to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Aloe Farms juiceAloe Farms Inc. of Harlingen, TX, heard from FDA’s Dallas District Office in a July 15 warning letter detailing the results of an inspection of the firm’s facility in Los Fresnos, TX, from Dec. 7-11, 2015. FDA told the company that it had failed to comply with regulations for acidified foods processing, specifically of Aloe Farms Aloe Vera Juice and Cranberry Flavored Aloe Vera Liquid Whole Leaf Full Strength Herbal Supplement. Problems involving current good manufacturing practices were also noted. Aloe Farms processes acidified food products without being registered as such, FDA stated, and has not provided the agency with information about scheduled processes “including conditions for heat processing and control of pH, salt, sugar, and preservative level, and source and date of the establishment of the process, for each acidified food in each container size” as required by law. Investigators also observed that a conveyor belt used to move washed aloe vera leaves from the cleaning room to the processing room had “numerous small cracks” that do not allow for proper cleaning and sanitizing. Additional problems cited in the warning letter involved not having a sink to clean food utensils in the production room, inadequate screening against pests, insufficient plant maintenance to keep rain out of the production room, and a number of product labeling issues. On Aug. 10, FDA’s Denver District Office sent a warning letter to O. Scott Wayment Dairy Inc. of Ogden, UT, to recount the results of an inspection done there on Feb. 17, 19, and March 24 of this year. dairycows_406x250The letter stated that a dairy cow sold for slaughter as food on or about Sept. 16, 2015, was found to have 5.710 parts per million (ppm) of penicillin in the kidney tissue. However, FDA has established a tolerance of 0.05 ppm for residues of penicillin in uncooked edible tissues of cattle. Other issues involved failure to maintain complete treatment records so that there was sufficient information on the identity and amount of the drug administered, route of administration, and the meat and milk withdrawal times. Animal drugs were also not used as directed by approved labeling and/or by a veterinarian’s prescription, FDA stated. Drug residues were also the subject of a warning letter sent Aug. 10 to Phillip D. Thompson of Union Bridge, MD, by FDA’s Baltimore District Office. Inspectors who visited his dairy operation on May 2 and 11 found violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, according to the letter. A dairy cow sold for slaughter as food on or about Sept. 17, 2015, had ceftiofur at 2.95 ppm in kidney tissue and flunixin at 0.162 ppm in liver tissue. FDA has established a tolerance of 0.4 ppm for residues of ceftiofur in kidney tissue and 0.125 ppm for residues of flunixin in the liver of cattle, the warning letter stated. FDA also noted that the dairy did not maintain adequate treatment records for medicated animals, had no inventory system for determining the quantities of drugs used to medicate animals, and failed to maintain records on the identity of animal(s) transported and delivered for consignment at an auction yard. Recipients of FDA warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to respond with details of the procedures they have taken, or will take, to correct the current violations and prevent them from recurring. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)