Personal Injury

Rodent and insect activity prompt U.S. Marshals to shutter two Virginia food companies

fda logo Rodent and insect activity prompt U.S. Marshals to shutter two Virginia food companiesTwo Waynesboro, Va., food businesses have had their products seized by U.S. Marshals after U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators found widespread and active rodent and insect infestation on the companies’ shared premises.

Federal food safety officials effectively shut down Gourmet Provisions LLC, a manufacturer of ice cream cones under the name Matt’s Supreme Cones, and Royal Cup Inc., which provides coffee and tea services to businesses nationwide, on September 16 after a recent inspection uncovered dirty equipment, rampant  rodent and insect activity, and structural defects in the building.  The two businesses are located within the same Waynesboro, Va., building.

According to the FDA, officials inspecting the premises found that “effective measures had not been taken to exclude insects and rodents from the facility and to protect food products and food contact surfaces from contamination.”

“These companies have a responsibility for the safety and quality of their products,” said Melinda Plaisier, associate commissioner for the FDA regulatory affairs. “When firms do not uphold this responsibility, the FDA will take actions that demonstrate its commitment to assuring consumers that foods they buy are prepared, packaged, and held under sanitary conditions.”

The recent raid is not the first time Gourmet Provisions / Matt’s Cones has run afoul with regulators. In April 2010, a forklift operator hauling a tall load of cinderblocks went backward through a door and clipped the overhead wall, causing the blocks to fall and crush the forklift operator’s 37-year-old mother, Rosa Hernandez, who also worked at the plant.

After investigating the incident, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry found the company’s doorways connecting a production area to a mixing room lacked sufficient clearance and no overhead clearance warnings were posted. The agency also determined that the company failed to properly train employees on the use of its forklifts.

The FDA says that no illnesses have been associated with products from the two companies to date. The agency asks that consumers report any illnesses or adverse events related to the use of Royal Cup or Matt’s Supreme Cones products to the FDA by writing to caers@fda.hhs.gov or by calling 240-402-2405.

Sources:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The News Leader