Moldy applesauce repackaged
Applesauce produced by Snokist Growers of Yakima, Wash., was recalled from the nation’s schools earlier this year. Now, FDA officials say the company cannot ensure the safety of moldy applesauce reprocessed and packed in units such as this 106 ounce can.
Food and Drug Administration officials this week posted a warning letter to Snokist Growers of Yakima, Wash., saying the company cannot ensure the safety of moldy applesauce and fruit puree that has been reconditioned for human consumption.
firm reprocesse Swarovski Outlet s moldy applesauce product using a method that is not effective against all toxic metabolites, read the FDA letter sent Oct. 20 to Jimmie L. Davis, Snokist president. foodborne molds may be hazardous to human health.
The latest warning came after FDA officials said Snokist failed to adequately address problems identified during a June inspection in which regulators found large, laminated bags of fruit products that were supposed to be sealed and sterile, but instead were broken open and tainted with white, brown, blue, blue green and black mold. Some of the compromised bags were bloated and one had strong fermented odor, the report said.
The FDA letter identified at least eight instances last year in which Snokist had reprocessed the moldy applesauce into canned goods for human consumption. The inspection report said Snokist documents showed the company had reprocessed mold contaminated applesauce at least 13 times between January 2008 and May 2011, repackaging food into 15 ounce cans, 106 ounce cans, 300 gallon bags and 4.2 o Swarovski Outlet unce, single serve cups.
It’s not clear whether the mold tainted applesauce went to schools. However, the June inspection followed a voluntary recall of more than 3,300 cases of canned Snokist applesauce in May after North Carolina schoolchildren became mildly ill after eating the fruit product. The recall was blamed on faulty seals on cans. The children have since recovered.
Snokist officials admit that they some moldy food for future use.
rework occurs, our thermal process is more than adequate to render the product commercially sterile, Tina Moss, a company spokeswoman, wrote in an e mail.
The company said it has begun testing for patulin, a common toxin produced by mold in rotting fruit.
However, the FDA said the company’s tests are not adequate and that officials must prove they’re testing for other dangerous microbes: mycotoxins are stable compounds that are not destroyed by heat treatment, the letter said.
FDA regulations to allow companies to “recondition” food, but the final product must be free of contamination. Firms aren’t required to notify the agency they’ve reprocessed food unless they’re required to under terms of an inspection or other action, such as an injunction. In addi Swarovski Outlet tion, rules prohibit mixing contaminated product with sound product to get to acceptable levels of filth, said Pat El Hinnawy, an FDA spokeswoman.
A 2009 consultant report showed that the types of molds in the Snokist fruit products included Alternaria, Fusarium and two types of Pennicillium, all of which can cause illness in people.
That report was commissioned by Snokist after a baby food manufacturer returned dozens of bags of the company fruit product in 2009 because they were contaminated with large amount of mold, according to the FDA inspection report.
In early 2010, the consultant recommended six steps that Snokist could take to fix the problems, but during the FDA June inspection, company of Swarovski Outlet ficials said they implemented only two.
Snokist sold more than 3.3 million cases of processed fruit with sales of $53 million in 2010, according to the company annual report. That represents more than 50,000 tons of processed fruit.
Snokist officials said they were working to address all of the concerns raised by the FDA and were awaiting a new inspection to confirm progress. FDA officials said the company has 15 days to respond to the warning letter.