A bakery supplier to Whole Foods, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Sysco, Rich Products, and US Foodservice has been falsifying tests for Listeria and E. coli documents for more than a year, according to a lawsuit filed by whisteblowing employees. Orange Bakery Inc. of Irvine, California had previously employed a third-party lab, Silliker Inc., to test for bacteria. Before severing ties with the lab some time before January 1, 2015, Orange obtained blank testing forms which it then forged to show negative results for Listeria and E. coli, the lawsuit alleges.
Orange sells raw dough for bakery products to clients who cover every part of the country. In addition to the major retailers and club stores including Whole Foods, the Kroger family of stores and Sam’s Club, Orange also supplies dough to distribution giants that supply food-service and in-store bakery locations including Sysco, Rich’s and US Foodservice.
Orange’s fraudulent activities could potentially: cause damage to the major brand names of their clients, cause illnesses and make it impossible for health officials to track down an outbreak, the suit alleges.
In addition, the company’s plant in Hunstville, NC operates with a number of food safety violations including employees who do not wear proper protective and sanitary gear in a facility that was “filthy and contained dirt, garbage, mold, insects and other potential contaminates” the suit alleges.