June 23, 2017

U.S. Marshals Seize Food from Professional Warehouse and Distribution in MN

The U.S. FDA has announced that on June 15, 2017, U.S. Marshals seized food held at Professional Warehouse and Distribution in St. Paul, Minnesota. Those products are worth about $73,000 and include barley flour, spices, pasta, dried beans, tea, and cookies. A complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota alleged the foods are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The storage conditions inside the warehouse were "simply unacceptable," according to the FDA. Melinda K. Plaisier, FDA's Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs said, "The FDA plays a key role protecting public health and ensuring not only that food is properly manufactured and labeled, but that it is handled and stored … [Read more...]

Consumer Groups Protest FDA’s Perchlorate Decision

The consumer groups Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and others sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb this week, objecting to the FDA's denial of a petition to remove perchlorate from food packaging. The denial was issued on May 4, 2017. Those groups claim that the FDA ignored evidenced that shows the compound disrupts brain development in infants and children. The FDA was sued by those groups to force them to act on the petition in April of 2016. Perchlorate is used in herbicides, explosives, and rocket fuel. Those groups say that the FDA's own data shows that the chemical migrates from packaging into food. Perchlorate is added to packaging to reduce the buildup of static. The letter states that "The serious flaws in the agency’s legal and … [Read more...]

FDA Releases List of Facilities that Served Hepatitis A Positive Tuna

The FDA has released a list of facilities that served frozen raw ahi tuna cubes that were recalled for possible hepatitis A contamination. In their investigation report they have added a table that includes the names and addresses of the 31 restaurants and stores that sold the product in California, Texas, and Oklahoma. This product was recalled twice. The first recall was in Hawaii only. The product is imported raw frozen ahi tuna cubes sourced from PT Deho Canning Co. in Indonesia, sold under Tropic Fish with lot codes 609149 and 609187. The current recall, which was issued on May 18, 2017 [editor's note: we cannot find this recall on any FDA page], is for frozen yellowfin tuna steaks from Sustainable Seafood Company and yellowfin tuna cubes from Santa Cruz Seafood. This recall by … [Read more...]

FDA Has Tips for Eating Outdoors and Handling Food Safely

This is Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of the summer season. Many people will be barbecuing and having picnics outdoors. These events are opportunities for foodborne illness, especially since the warmer weather months can increase the chance of food poisoning. So the FDA is offering tips for eating outdoors and handling food safely. First, pack and transport the food safely. When perishable foods aren't in the refrigerator, they are at greater risk for bacterial contamination. Cold food should be kept cold. Use a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs and make sure that the temperature in the cooler is at 40*F or below to prevent bacterial growth. You can pack meat, poultry, and seafood while still frozen so they stay colder longer. Organize the cooler contents. Put … [Read more...]

Banzai Sushi Receives FDA Warning Letter

The FDA has sent a warning letter to Northwest Frozen LLC, doing business as Banzai Sushi, in Seattle, Washington. That seafood processing facility has serious violations of seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations and Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for food. The facility must conduct or have conducted a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product produced. And an HACCP plan that lists the food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur. The firm's HACCP plan for "Frozen IQF Sushi Pieces" does not list the following food safety hazards: Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation; pathogenic bacteria growth and toxin formation; and undeclared allergens. The letter states that intact vacuum-packaged seafood … [Read more...]

Minnesota Lutefisk Manufacturer Gets FDA Warning Letter

Day Fish Company in Braham, Minnesota was inspected by the FDA from January 17 to January 23, 2017 and received a warning letter. The firm makes lutefisk from imported dried cod distributes pickled herring cutlets. According to the letter, the inspection revealed "serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), Part 123. hat means that fish or fishery products are adulterated. The refrigerated, ready to eat seafood products are adulterated "in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health." The firm must conduct a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product they produce along with a … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Closes Dietary Supplement Makers

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has entered a permanent injunction against EonNutra LLC, two related companies, CDSM LLC and HABW LLC, and their owner, to prevent the distribution of "adulterated and misbranded dietary supplements and unapproved and misbranded drugs." The Department alleges that the defendants, who sell about 150 dietary supplement products, violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Several of those products were labeled as dietary supplements, but were marketed as drugs. The company claimed that the product could help treat or prevent diseases such as "heart disease, diabetes, depression, hypertension, osteoporosis, and liver and kidney disorders." According to the complaint, the defendants offered these claims to the public without … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Entered Against Valley Milk Products

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia entered a consent decree of condemnation and permanent injunction against Valley Milk Products LLC on March 15, 2017. The decree orders the condemnation of seized milk powder products and prevents its distribution.   The seizure action was filed in the Western District of Virginia on November 18, 2016 at the request of the FDA. The complaint alleged that milk powder products were manufactured under insanitary conditions "whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, and/or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health. That complaint sought to seize and condemn certain adulterated milk powder products at Valley Milk Products’ Strasburg, Virginia facility." Valley Milk Products nonfat dry milk … [Read more...]

FDA Releases 2016 Food Safety Survey Report

The FDA has released the 2016 Food Safety Survey Report. This is a periodic national telephone survey of adults in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This survey has been conducted since 1988 and is used to help the FDA and USDA make regulatory and education decisions. The 2016 survey was the first time cell phone users were sampled in addition to landline phone users. The survey interviewed 4,169 respondents between October 2015 and January 2016. The key findings are below. The survey found that consumers are somewhat concerned about getting a foodborne illness from how they prepare food, but think that people are more likely to get sick from food prepared at a restaurant.  It is true that more outbreaks (defined as two more more unrelated people sickened with the same … [Read more...]

FDA Tells Pet Owners Not to Feed Two Dog Foods

The FDA is advising pet owners not to feed their pets certain lots of Evander's Hunk of Beef or Against the Grain Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy canned dog foods after unopened cans from both brands were found to contain pentobarbital, a barbiturate. This drug is used in animal euthanasia. It should not be in pet food. The FDA was not able to determine from records whether any other Evanger's or Against the Grain products made with beef contained any of the beef used in the recalled products. In addition, the FDA inspected manufacturing facilities on February 14, 2017 and found "numerous significant concerns with conditions" at the company's Wheeling, Illinois and Markham, Illinois plants. The advisory states that "these are initial observations and do not represent a final … [Read more...]

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