Court Orders Kwong Tung Foods to Cease Operations Due to Sanitation Concerns

Despite receiving an official Warning Letter and participating in regulatory meetings with the FDA, the company failed to fix the issues

Court Orders Kwong Tung Foods to Cease Operations Due to Sanitation Concerns
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July 19, 2016

A sprout and noodle company in Minnesota has been ordered to cease operations due to unsanitary conditions in its production facility.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the United States and Kwong Tung Foods, doing business as Canton Foods. The move was made in response to significant and ongoing violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and its implementing regulations. The business sells rice and wheat noodles, and mung bean and soy bean sprouts.

The complaint alleges that Kwong Tung Foods has an extensive history of operating under unsanitary conditions in violation of current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations and the FD&C Act. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted multiple inspections of the company's production facility, noting repeated unsanitary conditions, including, rodent excreta pellets too numerous to count, improper cleaning, mold-like substances on equipment, failure to prevent cross-contamination from allergens, and improper employee sanitation practices.

Despite receiving an official Warning Letter and participating in regulatory meetings with the FDA, the company failed to fix the issues.

"The FDA expects food companies to follow cGMP regulations, and when a company does not address violations and sanitary protocols are being neglected, it poses potentially hazardous conditions," said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, in a written statement. "The FDA is taking the necessary actions to protect consumers and the U.S. food supply."

The injunction prohibits Kwong Tung Foods from directly or indirectly receiving, processing, manufacturing, preparing, packing, holding, and distributing any article of food at or from its facility. If the company wants to resume operations, the company must notify the FDA, and, among other requirements, retain an independent food safety expert to ensure that an appropriate written Sanitation Control Program is followed.