"Janet Bostwick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> FDA: Moldy applesauce repackaged by school lunch supplier
> 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.
> By JoNel Aleccia
> A Washington state fruit processor that supplies the nation's schools
> and a baby food maker is under scrutiny by federal health regulators
> for repackaging applesauce contaminated with several kinds of
> potentially dangerous, multi-colored molds, msnbc.com has learned.
> 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.
> "Your firm reprocesses 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's president. "Several
> foodborne molds may be hazardous to human health."
> Products recalled earlier this year by Snokist were blamed for
> illnesses of nine North Carolina children who became sick after eating
> applesauce at school.
> 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 "a strong fermented
> odor," the report said.
> The FDA's 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-ounce,
> 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
> Snokist officials admit that they "rework" some moldy food for
> future use. But in an e-mail to msnbc.com, company officials said that
> the contaminated fruit represents only a fraction of the company's
> products, that compromised product is typically separated and
> destroyed, and that any reprocessed food is heat-treated to kill
> "If 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:
> "Most 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 addition, 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's 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's fruit product in 2009 because
> they were contaminated with "a 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's June inspection,
> company officials said they'd 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's annual report. That
> represents more than 50,000 tons of processed fruit.
> In the past, Snokist has supplied applesauce to schools nationwide
> through federal nutrition programs, according to the U.S. Department
> of Agriculture. A spokesman said he couldn't comment directly on
> whether Snokist had been removed from the program, but added that no
> firm under investigation by the FDA would be allowed to participate.
> 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
Oh bleh! I hate mold. Reminds me of when I put that salsa in my Spanish
rice without checking it. It was moldy. Oh the odor! And the other day
daughter showed me a supposedly hermetically sealed 2 slice pack of gluten
free bread. It was almost totally black and consumed with mold.