The March 14, 2016 inspection seemed to be a standard follow-up of an inspection by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on September 1, 2015. Here is also an inspection by WSDA on December 14 and 15, 2014.
Setting aside what food safety violations that were found on each of the inspections, the most disturbing part of the 2016 “inspection” were the refusals by the company to produce documents regarding “consumer complaints, recalls, pest control, sanitation, environmental and finished product sample results, interstate shipping documents, receiving documents and metal detection logs.” CFR management also refused to allow the FDA to take pictures, “citing proprietary concerns and company policy.” I highlight the refusals in pink on the 2016 document for easy reference.
I’m sorry, but I am stumped here. How is it that a company that is producing food for interstate and international shipment can refuse FDA inspector’s legitimate requests for documents that would in fact document food safety?
And, then on on May 3, 2016 the CDC, FDA and others weighed in.
Since March 2016, CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis).
Eight people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria have been reported from three states since September 13, 2013. All eight people were hospitalized, including one from Maryland and one from Washington who died.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence available at this time indicates that frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington and sold under various brand names are one likely source of illness in this outbreak. Investigations are ongoing to determine if food sources used to manufacture CRF Frozen Foods products could explain some of the illnesses.
On April 23, 2016, CRF Frozen Foods recalled 11 frozen vegetable products because they may be contaminated with Listeria. On May 2, 2016, CRF Frozen Foods expanded the initial recall to include all organic and traditional frozen vegetable and fruit products processed in its Pasco, Washington facility since May 1, 2014. Approximately 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands were recalled.