• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Joy Processed Food, Inc. 09-Jun-03

Department of Health and Human Services' logo

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration

  19900 MacArthur Blvd., Ste 300
Irvine, California 92612-2445
Telephone (949) 798-7600


WARNING LETTER

CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

June 9, 2003 ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? W/L 38-03

Mr. Travis C. Clawson
Joy Processed Foods, Inc
1330 Seabright Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90813

Dear Mr. Clawson:

The Food and Drug Administration conducted an inspection of your facility located at 1330 Seabright Avenue, Long Beach, CA on April 23, 2003 through May 5, 2003. At the conclusion of the inspection you were issued a Form FDA-483 (copy attached) which listed a number of gross insanitary conditions present in your firm at the time of that inspection. These conditions cause the products processed in your facility to be adulterated within the meaning of Section 402(a)(4) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act(the Act) in that they were prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth.

The following is a list of the insanitary conditions observed by our investigator during the inspection, referenced to current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for human foods, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR)

1. Failure to take necessary precautions to protect against contamination of food, food contact surfaces, and food packaging material with microorganisms and foreign substances. [21 CFR 110.10(b)]

Specifically:

  • On 4/23/03, a male employee in the main processing room wearing short gloves with exposed arms was maneuvering diced cooked potatoes into plastic bags. His exposed arm, part of his sweat shirt and soiled long white apron were coming into contact with the cooked diced potatoes. Furthermore, the male employee was placing the plastic bags filled with diced potatoes directly on the processing floor next to the dicing machine.
  • The long, white processing aprons are not washed and sanitized at the end of the processing day. The soiled aprons were observed hung next to dirty yellow rain coats and jackets covered with stain and built-up dirt and grime.
  • During the shredding of cooked potato (in cooler #2) a male employee was observed utilizing a bare wooden stick to stir the whole potatoes into the shredder. The stick is stored in a recycled tomato box placed on top of the conveyor belt during processing.
  • The plastic strip curtain of the processing room and walk-in coolers were observed dirty, covered with built-up grime, torn and damaged at the bottom. The employees? garment, finished product and raw material were observed coming in direct contact with these curtains.
  • On 4/23/03, three male employees were observed processing cooked potatoes in cooler #2 wearing jackets covered with crusted built-up food residue and dirt while wearing no aprons. Two of the employees were not wearing gloves and did not clean/sanitize hands prior to processing potatoes.
  • The South wall of the processing room was observed covered with dried-up residue of potato peels all the way to the ceiling.

2. Failure to conduct cleaning and sanitizing operations in a manner that protects against contamination of food, food-contact surfaces, and food-packaging materials. [21 CFR 110.35(a)]

Specifically:

  • On 4/28/03, a male employee was observed spraying 100% concentration Clorox chlorine bleach on the sorting/trimming conveyor belt as a sanitizing step.
  • Your firm utilizes water pressure spray for cleaning equipments but no cleaning solution is applied during cleaning. On 4/28/03, the recently cleaned conveyor belts of the sorting/trimming section were observed covered with yellowish and black residue on the seams of the belt and the rims of the equipment railing.
  • On 4/23/03, during the cooking process in the processing room next to the potato boiler, the milk crates covered with dried potato residue were washed by immersing in a steel tub filled with mixture of warm water and Sodium Metabisulfite utilizing a brush. The crates were removed from the tub and stacked to be filled with cooked potato; food residue was observed on these ready-to-use crates.
  • On 4/28/03, all the surfaces surrounding the equipment was splashed during cleaning with pressurized water spray, including the ceiling, light fixture, walls of the processing area. The cleaned equipment surfaces were splashed while the other sections of the equipment were being cleaned.
  • Prior to starting processing, the floor under the hopper was observed covered with potato peels and residue and 4 potatoes were observed left in the hopper.
  • White plastic buckets were utilized for carrying food additives/preservative such as Sodium Metabisulfite from the storage to the processing equipment. The buckets were stained and covered with built-up residue. The buckets were not cleaned during the course of inspection and were observed stored near the north entrance of the processing room.
  • The plastic bags used for packaging the shredded potatoes were observed stored in an open box on a dusty table outside near the entrance to the cooler.
  • The low ceiling above the shredding machine in cooler #2 was dirty, covered with dried built-up potato residue. On 4/23/03, the cooked potato was observed being splashed onto the low ceiling of the cooler during shredding.

3. Failure to provide adequate screening or other protection against pests. [21 CFR 110.20(b)(7)]

Specifically:

The raw material storage warehouse does not have any curtains to keep the flies out. Approximately 15-18 flies were observed in the front of the warehouse on 4/23/03.

4. Failure to locate and operate fans and other air-blowing equipment in a manner that minimizes the potential for contaminating food, food-contact surfaces, and food-packaging materials. 21 CFR 110.20(b)(6)

Specifically:

  • On 4/23/03, in Cooler #4 accumulation of yellowish water was observed on the plastic liners covering the top of the crates of cooked potatoes. The corroded air conditioning unit operating above these cooked potatoes was spraying condensation on the partially covered cooked potatoes? milk crates.
  • The air conditioning unit in Cooler #2 was observed dirty, rusted and covered with condensation while operating above the crates of cooked potatoes and across from the shredding equipment.
  • Air conditioning unit in Cooler #3 utilized for storing finished products was observed dirty, rusty and covered with built-up accumulation of white moist corrosion like residue just above the boxes of finished products.

5. All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source. [21 CFR 110.80]

Specifically:

  • On 4/28/03, cleaning hoses were observed thrown on the processing floor covered with soiled water while the nozzle was in direct contact with the floor. On 4/23/03, a cleaning hose was observed to be connected to a water pipe across the top of sorting conveyor belt filled with raw peeled potatoes; the hose was directly on the processing floor.

6. Proper precautions to protect food, food-contact surfaces, food-packaging materials from contamination with microorganisms, filth, and extraneous material cannot be taken because of deficiencies in plant construction and design. [21 CFR 110.20(b)(4)]

Specifically:

  • On 4/23/03, in Cooler #l, the milk crates of boiled potatoes were observed exposed and the liners covering the top crates were blown away by dusty fans and corroded air-conditioning unit operating continuously to cool and dry these cooked whole potatoes. These exposed milk crates of cooked peeled potatoes were stacked high up in the cooler against the un-washable plywood wall surface. The partially painted ceiling of cooler was observed covered with grime and dirt.
  • On 4/23/03, approximately 5-7 red, black and grayish cloth rags were observed hanging from the peeler section to stop stones and rocks in the raw potatoes and to avoid equipment damage.
  • On 4/23/03, milk crates of exposed cooked potato were observed stored against the un-washable bare plywood wall of the cooler #2.

7. Toilet doors open into areas where food is exposed to airborne contamination, and there are no alternative means taken to prevent such contamination. [21 CFR 110.37(e)(2)]

Specifically:

  • The employee bathroom in the processing room across from sorting/trimming station opens directly into the processing area.

8. Failure to maintain equipment, utensils, and finished food containers in an acceptable condition through appropriate cleaning and sanitizing. 21 CFR 110.35(d)

Specifically:

  • On 4/23/03, the milk crates utilized for storing/drying cooked whole potato was stored outside across from the entrance of Cooler #2. The crates were soiled covered with dried-up potato residue.
  • The plastic bags used for packaging the shredded potatoes were observed stored in an open box on a dusty table outside near the entrance to the cooler.

9. Failure to take effective measures to protect against the inclusion of metal in food. [21 CFR 110.80 (b)(8)]

10. Failure to provide a hand cleaning/sanitizing station for employees. [21 CFR 110.37 (e)]

11. Employees did not wash or sanitize hands thoroughly in an adequate hand-washing facility before starting processing. [21 CFR 110.10(b)(3)]

Specifically:

  • On 4/23/03, employees were observed not to clean and sanitize their hands prior to processing.

12. Suitable outer garments are not worn that protect against contamination of food, food-contact surfaces, food-packaging materials. [21 CFR 110.10(b)(1)]

Specifically:

  • On 4/23/03, male employees were observed standing outside, leaning against dirty walls and were later sorting peeled raw potatoes in their personal garments with no aprons and wearing disposable gloves.

The above violations are not meant to be an all-inclusive list of deficiencies in your facility. Other violations can subject the food to legal action. It is your responsibility to assure that all of your products are in compliance with the Act. You should take prompt action to correct the violations observed during FDA?s most recent inspection. Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in regulatory action without further notice, such as seizure and/or injunction.

Please respond in writing within fifteen (15) days from your receipt of this letter. Your response should include each step that has been taken to completely correct the current violations and to prevent the recurrence of similar violations, the time within which correction will be completed, and any documentation necessary to show that correction has been achieved. If you cannot complete all corrections before you respond, please explain the reason for your delay and the date by which each such item will be corrected and documented state when you will correct any remaining deviations.

Please send your reply to the Food and Drug Administration, Attention: Acting Director, Compliance Branch, 19900 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 300, Irvine, California 92612-2445. If you have any questions regarding any issue in this letter, please contact MaryLynn Datoc, Compliance Officer at telephone number 949-798-7628.

Sincerely,
/s/
Alonza E. Cruse
District Director