Monday, November 7, 2011

FDA: Moldy Applesauce Repackaged by School Lunch Supplier - November 6th, 2011

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, 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.

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