Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
Cross Country Dairy 12/13/12
Department of Health and Human Services
|Public Health Service|
Food and Drug Administration
Denver District Office
Bldg. 20-Denver Federal Center
P.O. Box 25087
6th Avenue & Kipling Street
Denver, Colorado 80225-0087
December 13, 2012
Mr. Michael J. DeGroot, Managing Partner
Cross Country Dairy
2157 State Road 108
Texico, NM 88135
Ref. #: DEN-13-4-WL
Dear Mr. DeGroot:
During the period October 23 – 26, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an investigation of your dairy operation located at 2157 State Road 108, Texico, New Mexico. This letter notifies you of the violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) that we found during our investigation of your operation. You can find the Act, and its associated regulations, on the Internet through links on the FDA’s web page at www.fda.gov.
We found that you offered animals for sale for slaughter as food that were adulterated. Under section 402(a)(2)(C)(ii) of the Act, [21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(2)(C)(ii)] a food is deemed to be adulterated if it bears or contains a new animal drug that is unsafe under section 512 of the Act, [21 U.S.C. § 360b]. Further, under section 402(a)(4) of the Act, [21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(4)], a food is deemed to be adulterated if it has been held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health.
Specifically, our investigation revealed that on May 1, 2012, you sold a dairy cow, identified with ear tag (b)(4), for slaughter as food, to (b)(4), (b)(4). (b)(4), delivered the dairy cow to (b)(4), where it was slaughtered on or about May 1, 2012. United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) analysis of tissue samples collected from that animal identified the presence of 1.54 parts per million (ppm) Penicillin in the Kidney tissue.
In addition, our investigation revealed that on May 21, 2012, you sold a dairy cow, identified with ear tag (b)(4), for slaughter as food, to (b)(4), (b)(4). (b)(4), delivered the dairy cow to (b)(4), where it was slaughtered on or about May 21, 2012. United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) analysis of tissue samples collected from that animal identified the presence of 1.54 parts per million (ppm) Penicillin in the Kidney tissue.
FDA has established a tolerance of 0.05 ppm for residues of Penicillin in the uncooked edible tissues of cattle, as codified in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 556.510, (21 CFR 556.510). The presence of this drug in the edible tissue of this animal in this amount causes the food to be adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(2)(C)(ii) of the Act, [21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(2)(C)(ii)].
Our investigation also found that you hold animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply. For example, you failed to maintain an adequate system to ensure that animals medicated by you have been withheld from slaughter for appropriate periods of time to permit depletion of potentially hazardous residues of drugs from edible tissues. Although you told our investigators that you treated the subject cows with daily doses of penicillin, you failed to maintain and review complete treatment records for medicated animals, which are sold for food. Food from animals held under such conditions is adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(4) of the Act, [21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(4)].
The above is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations. As a producer of animals offered for use as food, you are responsible for ensuring that your overall operation and the foods you distribute are in compliance with the law.
You should take prompt action to correct the violations described in this letter and to establish procedures to ensure that these violations do not recur. Failure to do so may result in regulatory action without further notice such as seizure and/or injunction.
We acknowledge receipt of your November 6, 2012 faxed response (dated November 1, 2012) to our form FDA 483, Inspectional Observations issued to you on October 26, 2012. Although you appear to be addressing our concerns, your response is inadequate in that it did not include documentation of the corrective actions you have taken.
You should notify this office in writing within fifteen (15) working days of receiving this letter of any additional steps you have taken to bring your firm into compliance with the law. Your response should include each step that has been taken or will be taken to correct the violations and prevent their recurrence. If corrective action cannot be completed within fifteen (15) working days, state the reason for the delay and the timeframe within which the corrections will be completed. Please include copies of any available documentation, such as written procedures, hospital records, inventory records, and training records demonstrating that corrections have been made.
Your written response should be sent to: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, P.O. Box 25087, (6th Avenue and Kipling Street, DFC, Bldg 20), Denver, CO 80225-0087, Attention: William H. Sherer, Compliance Officer. If you have any questions about this letter, please contact Mr. Sherer at (303) 236-3051, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
LaTonya M. Mitchell
Denver District Director
Ronald C. Nelson, D.V.M.
Denver District Manager
PO Box 25387
DFC, Bldg 45
Denver, CO 80225
I. Miley Gonzalez, Ph.D.
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
New Mexico State University
P.O. Box 300005, MSC 3189
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8005