USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service took 31 administrative actions against 21 of the nation’s largest meat and poultry facilities during the second quarter of of the federal fiscal year.
Those included 17 Notices of Intended Enforcement (NOIE) and nine suspensions that were all apparently held in abeyance. The actions came during the Jan. 1 to March 31 period.
According to the quarterly report, four Cargill Meat Solutions plants in Fresno, CA, Friona, TX, Springdale, AR, and Fort Morgan, CO, were cited for violating Sanitation Performance Standards and Inhumane Treatment during Slaughter.
Cargill had two suspensions in abeyance.
Two Clemens Food Group plants, one in Hatfield, PA, and the other in Coldwater, MI, were also targets of NOIE’s for violations of Sanitation Performance Standards and Inhuman Treatment during Slaughter. Clemens also had tow suspensions in abeyance.
Foster Poultry Farms in Turlock, CA, was cited for violating Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs); Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP); and Sanitation Performance Standards.
SSOP and HACCP infractions for George’s Processing in Springdale, AR, led to an NOIE appeal, which went in the company’s favor and the violations were rescinded.
House of Raeford Farms in Arcadia, LA, had SSOP, HACCP, and SPS violations with further action apparently deferred.
JBS plants in Plainwell, MI; Souderton, PA; Grand Island, NE; and Tolleson, AZ, were also among the violators during the period. The Plainwell, Souderton, and Grand Island plants all received NOIEs for Inhumane Treatment during Slaughter.
The JBS Tolleson facility took home a trifecta for SSOP, HACCP. and SPS. Only the Souderton plant was suspended.
The Jennie O Turkey Store in Faribault, MN, also was on the receiving end of an NOIE for SSOP, HACCP, and SPS
Two Pilgrim’s Pride facilities, one in Moorefield, WV, and one in Guntersville, AL, made the quarterly enforcement report. SSOP, HACCP, and SPS violations were involved.
The final five to make the list of 21 large establishments include:
- Sam Kane Beef Processors, Corpus Christi, TX
- Seaboard Triumph Foods, Sioux City, IA
- SFC Global, Pasadena, TX
- Smithfield Foods, Tar Heel, NC
- Zorro Leasing, Fresno, CA
An open case of Inhumane Handing against Sam Kane Beef was closed on March 19 when the business was sold. Zorn Leasing violated a “regulatory control action.” Inhuman Treatment was charged against Smithfield.
Sanitation and HACCP concerned earned NOIE’s for SFC Global and Seaboard.
In other enforcement action during the quarter, the FSIS Office of Investigation, Enforcement, and Audit (OIEA) issued 285 warning notices. A total of 507 food businesses under USDA jurisdiction received such FSIS warnings during the first half of the federal FY 2019.
FSIS enforcement involves both civil and criminal law. Food safety adjudicatory actions during the period included:
- Bridge Foods Inc. in New Orleans was hit with an FSIS complaint last March 29, seeking to withdraw federal inspection services because of the firm’s repetitive violations of food safety regulations.
- Harmon Brother Meat in Warsaw, KY also received notice last Feb. 7 that FSIS wants to indefinitely suspend and permanently withdraw federal inspection services because of the firm’s inhumane handling and slaughter of livestock. FSIS and Harmon Brothers entered into a Consent Decree that will allow USDA inspections to continue so long as the business agrees to adopt humane handling practices. Conditions include hiring an expert in humanity and being subjected to outside audits,
- Market Meat in Canby, OR, was also subject to an FSIS complaint threating to removed federal inspection services. The Oregon company agreed to a consent decree that binds it to reform its animal handling practices, including the hiring of an outside expert for humane practices and subjecting the company to outside audits.
In actions involving civil injections, FSIS also won the following actions:
- The U.S. District Court for Massachusetts permanently enjoined J/W Aseda Plaza along with owners Vida and Welton Causey of Worchester, MA, from selling transporting, offering for sale, or receiving any non-federally inspected meat products. The judge also instructed J&W and the Causeys on record keeping.
- The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York permanently enjoined the George Meat Mark in New York City from selling, transporting, offering for sale or transportation of any non-federally inspection poultry products or doing any preparing or processing of poultry products.
- The U.S. District Court for Massachusetts permanently enjoined the New England Market in Brockton, MA, from selling, transporting, offering for sale or transport or receiving any non-federally inspected meat or poultry. The judge also ordered proper record-keeping,
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)