January 6, 2021

MI’s Pica Farms Cider Sales Production Ended For Insanitary Conditions

Michigan’s Pica Farms cider sales and production is ordered ended by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Production and retail and wholesale sales have been ended by the government because of “insanitary conditions that may cause imminent or substantial hazard to people who consume their products.”

MI's Pica Farms Cider Sales Production Ended For Insanitary Conditions

The cease and desist order was issued on October 26, 2020, after a routine inspection found several violations of the Michigan Food Law, P.S., 92 of 2000, including some violations that had not been corrected from previous inspections. The farm has until November 5, 2020 to correct the violations or face more regulatory action, including the possibility of license suspension.

The products that are affected by this advisory include all gallon and half-gallon containers of apple and apple/fruit blend ciders produced by Pica Farms under the “Pica’s All-Natural” brand. All retail food establishments are asked to remove these products from their shelves immediately ¬†and to contact MDARD inspectors for instructions on how to dispose of these items.

Some of the violations uncovered by the inspection include food and mold-like residues on food contact surfaces, and using non-food grade containers and equipment to hold and transport food. They also allegedly used a non-food grade sump pump submerged in pressed juice to pump the juice into holding tanks. In addition, the firm could not produce records that showed monitoring of sanitation at key points during processing. And the company isn’t making sure that all plant equipment and utensils used in manufacturing, processing, packing and holding food are adequately cleanable to protect against allergen cross-contact and cross-contamination.

The notice states that E. coli contamination is the greatest concern for cider products made under insanitary conditions. If you have purchased any Pica Farms products or Pica Farms cider in 2020, discard them immediately. If you or anyone in your family has been ill with the symptoms of food poisoning after consuming these products, especially the symptoms of an E. coli infection, contact your doctor.

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