- The FDA suspended the food registration of Roos Foods, Inc., after its investigation found unsanitary conditions and bacteria linked to a multi-state breakout of Listeria.
- Roos issued a recall of several cheeses after they were linked to Listeria in eight people--seven in Maryland and one death in California. Subsequently, it had to extend the recall to more of its dairy products.
- The FDA suspension prohibits Roos Foods from distributing any food products until it, "determines that food manufactured, processed, packed, or held at the facility no longer has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans."
Health officials investigated the Roos Foods facility linked to the suspect dairy products from Feb.18 to March 4, and found that Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in samples of cheese matched those isolated in patients sickened from the outbreak. During the inspection, FDA investigators found unsanitary conditions including:
- The roof leaking so badly that water was raining down into the cheese processing room, including onto the cheese processing equipment and storage tanks;
- Standing water on the floor throughout the cheese curd processing room in proximity to the cheese vats and in the storage rooms;
- Metal roof/ceiling and metal supports exhibiting a rusted appearance with metal flaking precluding effective cleaning and sanitizing;
- Food residues found on equipment after cleaning had been performed;
- Openings to milk storage tanks and transfer piping not being capped to prevent contaminants from entering or contaminating food contact surfaces; and
- Floors, wall, and equipment that were deteriorated and in bad repair, including processing equipment and storage vats with rust holes and floors with rough concrete deterioration.
Even without the clear link of Listeria monocytogenes, a facility in that shape is no place for food preparation, which is why the FDA shutdown will remain in effect until it Roos proves it has really cleaned up its act.