Consent Decree Set with Food Company Due to Listeria Contamination

The FDA entered a consent decree with a New York cheese producer due to listeria contamination in its products.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara has entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the United States and Finger Lakes Farmstead Cheese company and its owner in New York, according to a news release from the Food and Drug Administration. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York pursued the consent decree on behalf of FDA.

The company manufactures and distributes raw cow's milk cheese. The consent decree states that Finger Lakes cannot receive, prepare, process, pack, hold, or distribute food until it demonstrates that it has a control program designed to eliminate listeria from its production facility. In addition, the company must hire an independent lab to collect and analyze samples, develop a program to control listeria in the production facility, train employees on sanitary food handling, retain an independent sanitation expert, and destroy all food currently in the facility.

According to FDA, the agency's inspections conducted since 2012 have shown "serious deficiencies" in the company's processing facility. No illnesses have been reported from the consumption of the company's products to date.

"The FDA repeatedly advised the company and its owner of the insanitary conditions at the facility," said Melinda K. Plaisier, FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "When a company continues to produce food that presents a risk for consumers, the FDA will take regulatory action to protect the public's health."

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