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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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Newberry Feed & Farm, Inc. 2/14/14

  

Department of Health and Human Services logoDepartment of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
 Atlanta District Office
60 8th St., NE
Atlanta, GA 30309 

February 14, 2014

VIA UPS
 
J. Clint Layne, President/Co-owner
Rhett Baker, Secretary-Treasurer/Co-owner
Newberry Feed & Farm Center, Inc.
131 Giff Street
Newberry, SC 29108
 
WARNING LETTER
(14-ATL-04)
 
Dear Messrs. Layne and Baker,
 
An inspection of your feed mill located at 2431 Vincent Street, Newberry, SC 29108 conducted by Investigators from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and South Carolina Department of Agriculture on September 5-9, 2013 revealed significant violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations for Medicated Feeds found in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 225 (21 C.F.R. 225). Such violations cause the medicated feeds manufactured at your facility to be adulterated within the meaning of Section 501(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 351(a)(2)(B)] in that the methods used in, or the facilities or controls used for the manufacture, processing, packing, or holding of the medicated feeds do not conform to or are not operated or administered in conformity with current good manufacturing practices. 
 
The inspection also revealed significant violations of the requirements set forth in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 589.2000 (21 C.F.R. 589.2000), Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant Feed. This regulation is intended to prevent the establishment and amplification of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Animal feeds and feed ingredients containing prohibited mammalian proteins are considered potentially injurious to ruminant and public health. Because you failed to comply with the requirements set forth in 21 C.F.R. 589.2000, the feed products manufactured and distributed by your facility are adulterated within the meaning of Section 402(a)(4) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 342(a)(4)] in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health. The adulterated feed was subsequently misbranded within the meaning of Section 403(a)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 343(a)(1)] because it was not properly labeled with the required BSE cautionary statement.
 
Medicated Feed CGMP violations observed during the inspection include, but are not limited to, the following:
 
1.    You failed to ensure that all equipment that comes in contact with the active drug component, feeds in process or finished medicated feed is subject to reasonable and effective procedures to prevent unsafe contamination of feeds with drugs. [21 C.F.R. 225.65(b)]
 
Your written equipment cleaning procedure that requires flushing with a minimum of (b)(4) does not appear to be effective to prevent unsafe contamination of your manufactured feed. During the inspection, our Investigators observed a build-up of feed residue on surfaces inside the mixer that was approximately three inches thick in accumulation. This build-up was observed on the equipment throughout the inspection, including after flushing had been performed. In addition, the cleaning procedure does not include cleaning of the hand-add chute or scoops/buckets used to handle ingredients that are then used to manufacture medicated feed. During the inspection, our Investigators observed a build-up of feed residues approximately four inches thick on the inside of the chute used to add the drug ingredients and other “hand-adds”.  Considering the extent of residue accumulation—some of which would include the drug sources used in your medicated feeds—on surfaces in the mixer and the hand-add chute, it is likely that chunks of this material break off periodically, and may sometimes end up in feeds not intended to contain that drug. 
 
This is a repeat observation from the July 24-26, 2012 inspection. Your response to the Form FDA 483, Inspectional Observations, issued to you following the 2012 inspection stated the buckets and scoops would be replaced, and you would schedule a regular cleaning of the equipment every (b)(4). Based on the accumulation of residual feed observed on manufacturing equipment during the inspection and which remained following flushing, you have either failed to implement the promised corrective action or you have failed to ensure that the corrective action was lasting and effective in preventing the violation from recurring.
 
On October 3, 2013, we received your response to the Form FDA 483 issued to you following the September 2013 inspection. You state in your response that you have posted signs, added cleaning of the dump chute to the (b)(4) cleaning procedure, and  increased the physical cleaning of the mixer to (b)(4). You also state that dedicated scoops will be used for each component or drug and have ordered disposable liners for the buckets that will be discarded following each dumping of product. However, you did not provide any documentation to demonstrate these changes have been made, such as photos of the new sign or newly cleaned equipment, or copies of the revised cleaning procedure.     
 
2.    You failed to investigate and implement corrective action where the results of assays indicated that the level of drug in medicated feed was not in accord with label specifications or not within permissible assay limits.  An original or copy of the record of such action must be maintained on the premises. [21 C.F.R. 225.58(d)]
 
Your firm failed to adequately investigate and implement corrective action when you received an assay result on 6/21/13 for a Type C medicated feed containing Amprolium, showing the drug present at 73% of the concentration stated on the label. This assay result is outside of the assay limits of 80-120% established in 21 C.F.R. 558.4. The subsequent review of production and inventory records conducted by your firm revealed these records were “OK”, and it was determined the feed sample was taken incorrectly. Your firm’s “\investigation sheet” dated 6/21/13 states the corrective action as “[t]rying to make sure the samples are taken correctly.”  No technique or procedural changes were made in response to the described corrective action, however. Thus, your firm failed to implement any corrective action in response to the out of specification assay result.
 
Your firm also received assay results for a Type C medicated broiler feed containing a Salinomycin concentration of 75% on 7/7/12 and 78% on 8/3/12. These assay results are outside the specification tolerance of 80-120% of the concentration stated on the label. [21 C.F.R. 558.4]. Your firm did not initiate any investigation or corrective action after receiving these results. Failure to investigate and implement corrective action following an out-of-limits assay is a repeat observation from the July 24-26, 2012 inspection.
 
In your response to the Form FDA 483 issued to you following the September 2013 inspection, you state that you have instructed personnel further on completing the investigation form and have also added sampling instructions to the procedures manual. However, you did not provide copies of the new/revised investigation form or the revisions to the procedures manual discussing sampling.  
 
3.    Your daily inventory records fail to record the batches or production runs (or lots) of medicated feed in which each drug was used. [21 C.F.R. 225.42(b)(6)(iii)] Although your daily inventory records appear to contain all of the other required information, due to the way the form is designed, there is only space to record one batch per day per drug and no space to record the name of the product, lot number, or other identifier for that batch. Your daily inventory record must reflect every batch or lot of medicated feed manufactured each day.
 
4.    You failed to document in the daily inventory record actions taken to reconcile any discrepancies in the daily inventory record. [21 C.F.R. 225.42(b)(6)(v)] For example, the drug inventory conducted on 8/30/13 revealed a discrepancy with respect to one fifty pound bag of (b)(4)(a Type A medicated article).  It does not appear that your firm took any action to reconcile this discrepancy.
 
You state in your response to both #3 and #4 above   that you have added an area to the inventory control sheet to report any drugs that do not reconcile, and that there is a space to make notes and/or adjustments to inventory to ensure they reconcile. However, you did not indicate that the inventory control sheet had been adjusted to provide for the possibility that any single drug may be used more than once a day, and  you did not provide any documentation—such as a copy of the revised form—to demonstrate that these changes have been made.   
 
5.    You have failed to properly identify, store, handle, and control drugs in your mixing areas to maintain their integrity and identity [21 C.F.R. 225.42(b)(4)]. Our inspection found that your firm was storing bags of Type A Medicated Articles in a manner and location that allowed them to be covered in bird droppings.
 
This finding also relates to your obligations under 21 C.F.R. 225.20(b)(2) and (3), which requires the facility to be maintained in a reasonably clean and orderly manner, and for access by birds and other pests to be minimized. During the September 5-6, 2013 inspection, our Investigators observed birds (greater than ten) nesting, flying, perched and foraging in the mill. Your response indicated that you are investigating ways to keep birds out of the mill, but that you did not yet have a plan at that time. You indicated that you would have a plan in place by November 1, 2013, but did not provide further information regarding any plan.
 
In addition, the following violations of the Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant Feed regulation [21 C.F.R. 589.2000] were observed during the inspection:
 
1.    You failed to use clean out procedures or other means adequate to prevent carryover of protein derived from mammalian tissues to feeds that may be used for ruminants [21 C.F.R. 589.2000(e)(1)(iii)(B)]. Your feed is therefore adulterated under Section 402(a)(4) [21 U.S.C. 342(a)(4)] of the Act.
 
Because your firm uses animal proteins prohibited from use in ruminant feeds, and also makes feeds for ruminants, you are required to have a cleanout procedure adequate to prevent carryover into ruminant feeds. As noted above, our Investigators observed a significant build-up of feed residues inside the feed mixer and the hand-add chute, which remained following your cleanout procedure. This equipment is used for processing both proteins derived from mammalian tissues and feeds for ruminants.  Since flushing was ineffective in removing the accumulated feed from the equipment, your clean out procedure was inadequate to prevent carryover of protein derived from mammalian tissues to feeds intended for ruminant animals.
 
Your response indicates that your corrective actions for this item are the same as for Item 1 above. However, as noted above, you did not provide any documentation to demonstrate that the changes you discussed have been made, or that they were adequate to address this issue.
 
2.    You failed to label all products which contained or may have contained prohibited materials and that are intended for use in animal feed with the BSE cautionary statement, "Do not feed to cattle or other ruminants." [21 C.F.R. 589.2000(e)(1)(i).]
 
As discussed above, your clean out procedure is inadequate to prevent carryover of protein derived from mammalian tissues to feeds intended for ruminant animals. Thus, all feeds manufactured using your mixer and hand-add chute that did not contain the BSE cautionary statement “Do not feed to cattle or other ruminants,” are  misbranded under Section 403(a)(1) [21 U.S.C. 343(a)(1)] of the Act. For example, a batch of Carolina Choice Beef Conditioner Custom Mix (b)(4), manufactured on September 6, 2013, while there was a significant build-up of feed residues in the feed mixer, was misbranded as its label did not contain the required BSE cautionary statement.   
 
The above is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations at your facility. As a medicated and non-medicated feed manufacturer, you are responsible for assuring that your overall operation and the products you manufacture and distribute are in compliance with the law.  You should take prompt action to correct these violations, and you should establish procedures whereby such violations do not recur. Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in regulatory and/or administrative sanctions. These sanctions include, but are not limited to, seizure, injunction, and/or notice of opportunity for a hearing on a proposal to withdraw approval of your Medicated Feed Mill License under Section 512(m)(4)(B)(ii) of the Act and 21 C.F.R. 515.22(c)(2).
 
Based on the results of the September 5-9, 2013 inspection, evaluated together with the evidence before FDA when the Medicated Feed Mill License was approved, the methods used in, or the facilities and controls used for, the manufacture, processing, and packing of medicated feeds are inadequate to assure and preserve the identity, strength, quality, and purity of the new animal drugs therein. This letter constitutes official notification under the law and provides you an opportunity to correct the above described violations.
 
You should notify this office, in writing, within fifteen (15) working days of the receipt of this letter of the steps you have taken to bring your firm into compliance with the law. Your response should include an explanation of each step being taken to correct the violations and prevent their recurrence. In your response, please include the timeframe in which the corrections will be completed and provide any documentation that will effectively assist us in evaluating whether the corrective actions have been made and the adequacy of such. If you are unable to complete the corrective actions within fifteen (15) working days, identify the reason for the delay and the time within which you will complete the corrections. Include copies of any available documentation demonstrating that corrections have been made.
 
Your written response should be sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Attn: Janice L. King, Compliance Officer, at the address noted in the letterhead. If you have questions, please contact Mrs. King at 843-746-2990 or write her at the noted address. 
 
Sincerely,
/S/  
Philip S. Campbell
Acting District Director
Atlanta District Office
 
 
cc: South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Phillip C. Trefsgar