FDA Releases Food Safety Rules for Farm Produce and Imported Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took major steps to prevent food borne illness by finalizing rules implementing the bipartisan Food Safety Modernization Act that, for the first time, establish enforceable safety standards for produce farms and make importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards. The Agency also issued a rule establishing a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies, also known as auditors, to conduct food safety audits of foreign food facilities.

AgTech: Soy Company Shut Down Until It Can Meet FDA Regulations

San Francisco-based Fong Kee Tofu Co. Inc. has agreed to indefinitely shut down operations, or until its manufacturing facility can meet federation food safety regulations.

The company, which makes soy drinks, tofu and related products, had been cited by Food and Drug Administration officials for food safety violations several times in the past four years at its manufacturing facility in the Bay view area of San Francisco.

FDA officials noted in a March 2012 warning letter than inspectors had previously found insects flying around the tofu production area, evidence of pigeons near raw soybean storage and ready-to-eat bulk tofu, and employees handling equipment and then handling food without changing their gloves or washing their hands. Other problems the agency

cited included condensation from the ceiling dripping onto the RTE bulk tofu and packing table and apparent mold near the condensation. Also, FDA noted, "Defendants bulk fried tofu balls, which are packaged in unlabeled plastic bags, fail to declare any ingredients."

While company owners Jen Ying Fong, Suny Fong and Yan Hui Fan agreed to correct the violations, FDA indicated that inspectors continued to find and document the unsanitary conditions.

"Our goal is to protect the publics health from potentially harmful food contamination and when a company refuses to comply with the Current Good Manufacturing Practices FDA will take action," said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDAs associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "If and when Fong Kee Tofu Co., Inc. is permitted to resume operations, FDA plans to continue monitoring its compliance with FDA food safety rules."

Source : Food Safety News
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