Salad Maker Accused of Filth, Listeria

NEW YORK, Aug. 3 (UPI) — U.S. Department of Justice officials say they have filed for a permanent injunction against NY Gourmet Salads Inc., a processor of ready-to-eat deli salads.

The complaint against NY Gourmet Salads and Leonard F. Spada, the company president, alleges the defendants violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by introducing food that was prepared, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions that may have become contaminated with filth.

The company promised to address and correct deficiencies following inspections in 2006, 2007 and 2009. The most recent FDA inspection in March confirmed the company continued to operate without adequate controls, U.S. attorneys say.

Last April, NY Gourmet Salads recalled 60 pounds of its 5-pound tubs of Chick Pea Salad because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes — a food borne pathogen that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.

The complaint notes that recent FDA testing found Listeria monocytogenes throughout the defendants’ facility and in a sample of finished product, and that the strain of Listeria found in a sample of the defendants’ chickpea salad in 2010 was indistinguishable from the strain of Listeria found in the defendants’ facility during a 2009 inspection — indicating the Listeria had likely formed a lasting presence in the defendants’ facility, court papers say.

The products, which include ready-to-eat deli salads, seafood salads and cream cheeses, are sold in New York and New Jersey, and an airline caterer in Jamaica, N.Y.

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Categorized | Justice, Other
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