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FDA warning letters for dairies and cheese factory

Staff Writer |
Wisconsin and Utah dairy operations and a cheese factory in Pennsylvania received FDA warning letters.

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LeRaysville Cheese Factory in LeRaysville, PA: The Philadelphia district office of the FDA sent a warning letter Sept. 2 to owner Milton Repsher describing “significant” food safety violations at the repacking and distribution operation, some of which have persisted since 2013.

Problems served by inspectors at the operation from March 15 through April 5 included improperly labeled foods; employees’ failure to wash their hands; lack of a hand washing facilities; broken and dirty equipment; rusty and improperly repaired equipment, floors, pipes and windows; and untrained employees.

The labeling problems included failure to identify foods with “common” names, such as cheddar cheese labels that did not include the word “cheese.” Labels also did not include all of the ingredients and incorrectly identified some foods in specific violation of federal law.

Some of the food labels also failed to include the address of the business, as required by law. Inspectors also fund that some of the food was not being manufactured at the facility, but that fact was not reflected on the labeling.

Dietsche’s Dairy in Spencer, WI: The Minneapolis, MN, district offie of the FDA sent a warning letter Dec. 7 to Marvin Dietsche and Richard L. Dietsche, co-owners of the dairy regarding illegal levels of antibiotic residues in the edible tissue of a dairy cow they sold for slaughter for human food.

The government inspectors found records regarding the sale of the animal during a visit on Aug. 17-18. The cow was sold March 7 and slaughtered the following day.

The FDA warning letter states that USDA tests showed the cow’s liver and kidney tissues had 0.3 parts per million (PPM) of the drug sulfadimethoxine, which has a maximum allowable level of 0.1 ppm. The cow also had 0.074 ppm of penicillin in its kidney tissue, well above the allowed 0.05 ppm limit.

Double Tree Dairy Farm LLC in Holden, UT: The Denver district office of the FDA sent a warning letter Dec. 12 to William H. Wright, owner, regarding the April 6 sale of a dairy cow for slaughter as human food. After slaughter on April 7, the animal was found by USDA testing to have excessive amounts of an antibiotic in its edible tissues.

The cow had 5.25 ppm of desfuroylceftiofur in its kidney tissue. The FDA allows only 0.4 ppm of the drug to be present at the time of slaughter. The FDA also cited the dairy owner for failing to keep records as required by federal law.

The dairy also failed to observe the minimum required time between administering the antibiotic and slaughtering the cow. Federal law requires a minimum 13-day withdrawal period after the last dose of the drug before an animal can be slaughtered for human food. The cow from Double Tree was slaughtered three days early.


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