July 20, 2018

FDA Warning Letter to Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese

In October 2012, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese was recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. So while browsing through today’s released FDA warning letters sent to facilities and plants in the last two months, we were interested to see a warning letter to that company dated 12/11/2012.

FDAlogoThe FDA inspected the cheese manufacturing plant in August 2012 and found the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in 29 out of 85 environmental swabs. Twelve of the positive samples were taken from food contact  surfaces and seventeen from non-food contact areas.

There were also significant violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulation for manufacturing, packing, or holding human food. That means that the food was “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.”

On August 29, 2012, the FDA called the firm to tell them about the test results. On August 30, 2012 the FDA returned to the facility to collect more samples¬†including Tomme de Nena Cheese, Kentucky Bleu Cheese, and Awe-Brie Cheese that were confirmed contaminated with Listeria. Those were not the cheeses that were part of the October recall. PFGE results, which identify the DNA of bacteria, suggested that Listeria bacteria was transported throughout the facility. And finally, on October 3, 2012 the FDA told Kenny’s Farmhouse about the contaminated cheeses in the marketplace and the recall was issued.

The inspection found several CGMP violations. Pests were not excluded from the processing areas. Investigators found live and dead flies in a cheese vat, the creamery make room, the waxing room, the brine tank, cooler storage, and the packaging and shipping room. Investigators also observed an employee stirring cheese curds with bare hands. The plant isn’t contracted to prevent condensate from contaminating foods. Ingredients were not stored in containers to protect against contamination, and cleaning compounds and sanitizing agents were not used in a safe manner.

The facility had 15 days to address these concerns. We’ll keep you informed about any updates.

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