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FDA’s Weekly Enforcement Report:

"McCain officials ignored signs of Salmonella, Listeria contamination"

For more than 2 1/2 years, management at the Colton, California facility of McCain Foods USA ignored positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella, apparently  choosing to ship the potentially contaminated fruit and vegetable products without conducting confirmation tests.

This pattern of behavior was discovered during an internal audit at the manufacturing location, according to information in the FDA’s Weekly Enforcement Report released yesterday.

“During an internal audit at the manufacturing location, it was discovered that finished product had been released on numerous occasions after receiving presumptive positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella; confirmation was not conducted,” stated the FDA report.

McCain’s Colton manufacturing facility was most recently inspected by the Food and Drug Administration in January, according to information in the agency’s on-line inspection database. That inspection resulted in a classification of “Voluntary Action Indicated,” suggesting that FDA investigators recorded one or more “Inspectional Observations” requiring correction. Food Safety News has requested, but has not yet received, a copy of the Establishment Inspection Report.

McCain Foods is a privately owned, multinational company with its main offices in Ontario, Canada. It has many business customers, including other food companies, retailers, restaurants and institutional foodservice operations such as school districts. Recalls by retailers that used McCain ingredients in their branded products include WalMart, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and 7-Eleven.

To date, no confirmed illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled products. However, it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.

McCain’s voluntary recall included the following 63 different products, packaged and sold under multiple brand names, which are indicated in parentheses.

For a list of the recalled products, click here.

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