Inspectors from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) inspected the CRF Frozen Foods LLC plant in Pasco, Washington from March 14 trough 17 – 2016, founding several observations causing the operation suspension at Pasco facility and a voluntary recall of around 360 organic frozen vegetables and fruits that have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and linked to the listeria outbreak.
All affected products have the best by dates or sell by dates between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018 and all were manufactured or processed in CRF Pasco facility.
According to the FDA report issued on March 17 and openly posted on the FDA website, inspectors observed that “materials and workmanship of equipment and utensils does not allow proper cleaning and maintenance“.
Some of the observations were:
- a cracked plastic shovel used for food contact;
- blue tape being used as a temporary repair on a cracked metal plate above a consumer pack line
- a plastic conveyor belt with missing plastic pieces froma at least five legs that come into direct contact with onions;
The FDA in its most recent update May 4 explains that “The CDC (Center of Disease of Control and prevention) reports that eight people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from three states (California, Maryland and Washington) from September 2013 – March 2016. Ill people ranged in age from 56 to 86. Epidemiology 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 illnesses in this outbreak.
As part of a routine product sampling program the Ohio Department of Agriculture collected packages of frozen vegetable products from a retail location and isolated Listeria monocytogenes from True Goodness by Meijer brand frozen organic white sweet cut corn and frozen organic petite green peas. Both products were produced by CRF Frozen Foods.
Whole genome sequencing showed that the Listeria monocytogenes isolate from the frozen corn was closely related genetically to seven bacterial isolates from ill people, and the Listeria monocytogenes isolate from the frozen peas was closely related genetically to one isolate from an ill person. This close genetic relationship provides additional evidence that the people in this outbreak became ill from eating frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods.”
For a complete list of products being recalled visit the FDA link here.