FDA Warning Letters: Excessive Drug Levels Top List of Latest Food Problems

By News Desk | December 1, 2014

Illegal levels of drug residues in food animals topped the list of problems with food producers in the latest round of warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for alleged violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

FDA stated that Floyd Raber of Millersburg, OH, sold a veal calf for slaughter that contained a drug, sulfamethoxazole, which has no acceptable level in calves sold for veal. Because of this, investigators determined that the meat was adulterated, according to the law, and that the firm held animals under conditions that would lead to unwanted drugs entering the food supply.

Health investigators stated that they found another veal calf sold with unacceptable levels of another drug, sulfamethazene, at Martin Star Dairy of Stevens, PA. That drug also has no acceptable levels in veal calves, thus rending the meat adulterated and classifying the firm as holding animals under conditions that allow for unacceptable drugs to enter the food supply, FDA stated.

Pleasant View Dairy of Dyersville, IA, was found to have sold a steer for slaughter with excessive levels of florfenicol, another regulated drug. FDA also stated that the firm had used another drug, Nuflor, in a way that was not directed by its approved labeling.

Walnut Creek Kitchens of Walnut Creek, OH, received warnings from the agency for allegedly selling adulterated food and misbranded food. First, the firm’s smoked cheeses produced on June 10 and 11, 2014, were found to be held overnight for 12-16 hours at 68-69 degrees F, outside the range of refrigeration, thus rendering them vulnerable to bacterial growth, FDA stated.

Health investigators also stated that Walnut Creek was selling a number of falsely and misleadingly branded products. The firm’s smoked cheese products claimed to be “smoked,” but really did not go through a smoking process and instead received a liquid smoke applied to the surface of the cheese, the agency stated. Instead of “smoked,” appropriate labels would include “with added smoke flavor,” “smoke flavored,” or “natural smoke flavor,” FDA stated.

Pagano’s, a seafood processor in Norwalk, CT, was found to have “serious violations” of seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. A number of the firm’s products, including cold-smoked salmon and caviar, were held in transit for excessive amounts of time and therefore considered inadequate to control for growth of harmful bacteria, FDA stated.

Companies who receive FDA warning letters are asked to respond within 15 working days outlining steps they will take to correct the stated violations.

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Original Food Safety article can be found here.