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Cheese Manufacturer faces Criminal and Civil Actions due to Adulteration

Roos Foods, Inc., a cheese manufacturer based in Delaware, USA, pled guilty to one criminal misdemeanor count of violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. The company has also entered into a consent decree of permanent injunction. Under the decree, Roos Foods and two of its co-owners cannot produce or distribute food in the United States until they receive confirmation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that their operations comply with the FD&C Act and any applicable food safety regulations.

What sparked the criminal and civil actions against Roos Foods?

Investigations by FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in February 2014 identified Roos Foods’ soft cheeses as the likely source of a 2013 Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.  FDA inspected the facility and observed numerous serious violations, including:

  • Water leaking from the roof into various areas of the facility, including onto cheese processing equipment and storage tanks.
  • Leftover food residues after cleaning and sanitation operations had been performed.
  • The facility’s processing and storage equipment had uncleanable surfaces, creating a prime harborage area for Listeria.

These are only a few of the violations observed by FDA.  The agency suspended Roos Foods’ food facility registration in March 2014.  FDA has authority to suspend a registration when there is reasonable probability that a food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans.

“The FDA will not tolerate food companies that fail to provide adequate safeguards and place the public health at risk by producing and shipping contaminated products,” said Howard Sklamberg, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Global Regulatory Operations and Policy.

Criminal and civil actions can be detrimental to both a food facility’s profits and reputation. Registrar Corp offers various food safety services to help facilities ensure they are abiding by FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs).  Registrar Corp Food Safety Specialists can develop or review a facility’s HACCP or Food Safety plan as well as conduct a mock FDA inspection of a facility to identify any CGMP violations.

For more information about FDA food safety regulations or Registrar Corp’s services, contact +1-757-224-0177 or chat with a Regulatory Advisor 24-hours a day at www.registrarcorp.com/livehelp.