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Blue Heron Bakery

Blue Heron Bakery

United States

Evan J. Price

United States

U. S. Food and Drug
Seattle District Office
22215 26th Avenue SE #201
Bothell, WA 98021

MAY 4, 2018

Blue Heron Bakery
4419 Harrison Avenue# 108
Olympia WA 98502

CASE#: CMS 548340

Letter of Response

In reply to the Warning Letter dated March 23, 2018. Corrective proactive measures have been taken and the concerns of this letter have been addressed. There have been no new signs of pests in well over two months and the bakery has been visited by our local Health Department twice to inspect. These situations do not have immediate solutions; for resolution, teamwork, time and constant vigilance are necessary. Preventive measures are in place and this complaint should be closed.

Blue Heron Bakery is located in a multi unit commercial building that has been entirely renovated in the last 6 years. Blue Heron Bakery has been at this location 3 years come June 2018. The entire building is a metal-sided structure; the bakery is located is at the far South end of the structure and is supported by concrete floor with concrete walls 3 feet high that entirely surround the back area of the production facility.

The inspections conducted by Inspector Avery and Inspector Sandra Wagner, were performed professionally and with courtesy. We discussed the context of the problem and the steps we were taking to mitigate. From the first inspection forward we acknowledged there was a building wide problem that was being actively responded to. As the inspectors were informed, all workers were aware of the issue and we all made sure all surfaces, utensils and pans were washed and sanitized before any production occurred. Within the bakery, all points of REPs noted are and continue to be kept cleaned and sanitized.

In coordination with our building maintenance property manager, pest control experts and the other tenants in our building the problem was addressed as quickly as possible. Facilities for the building found and sealed entry points in the metal siding at the far north end of the complex, all rain downspouts were sealed with wire mesh and aggressive trapping took place throughout the entire complex.

There are points of difference and agreement within the significant deviations listed, which are addressed below.

Response to Specific Deviations

Item 1. 21CFR110.35 (c)
We were actively working to control the problem. As both investigators were informed, before the first inspection we were already trapping, had contacted property management and discussed the situation with our neighbors. Building Maintenance contracted a pest control service that was trapping in other parts of the building. We sealed and blocked every entry point within the bakery.

a)  These samples were found under a rolling shelf to the west of the three- compartment sink and west of the mixer. We do agree to the fact of their presence.
b)  In the original report by inspector Wagner it is noted the dough roller was an un-used piece of equipment. This is not included in this document. An un-used piece of equipment cannot contaminate food. This equipment has since been removed from the premises.
c)  As stated in above the dough roller, was an unused piece of equipment. The dough proofers mentioned are sealed metal cabinets on all sides with tight sealed doors.
d)  This is the floor directly beneath the unused dough roller, this space where the ingredients shelf and proofers is approximately a 10' by 12' area.
e)  This also is in the same area.
f)  We acknowledge this to be true.
g)  We acknowledge this to be true. It must be noted that as we informed the inspector, all pans were washed and sanitized in the commercial dishwasher before any production occurred.
h)  We acknowledge this to be true.

During the investigations both investigators acknowledged progress and that a building wide approach that was being actively pursued. It has been resolved. Thurston County Health Department has visited twice the first was on February 9, 2018, two weeks after the last FDA investigation. The lead investigator provided and I offer as evidence, this letter confirming the issue had been addressed.

Hello Mr. Price,
Myself and inspector Mariah Crawford stopped by the Blue Heron Bakery, located at 4419 Harrison Ave, Suite #108, on 09 February 2018. We were there in response to rodent complaints for another food establishment in the same building complex. We discussed rodent control practices and cleaning after rodents if needed. During the visit, we looked through the facility for signs of rodent (droppings, damage, access points, etc.) and did not find any. Staff at the bakery were aware of the problem and had had some rodent presence in the bakery but were taking appropriate cleaning actions and working with a professional pest control company to address the issue.

After the visit, it was reported that rodent access points into the building complex were identified and sealed up. At this time we deem the issue to have been resolved. Continued good cleaning practices and pest surveillance are highly recommended in order to quickly identify new pest activity. We also recommend continuing to talk with other building tenants and the property owner about pest problems and the continued use of professional pest control.


Sammy Berg, RS
Senior Environmental Health Specialist
Food & Environmental Services Section
Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department

2.  The backdoor mentioned as a point of entry, is not accurate. The specific species of rodent was coming from the ceiling as we discussed with both investigators as well as our local Health Department. The description in the inspection report, improperly points out the gap at the bottom of the door Yz inch by one foot. The term propped open is not accurate. The door was closed with one door resting upon the vertical sill that is on one side of the door a very small nickel sized gap is the only spot where light can be seen. No signs of entry have been ever seen. And, as stated above at ground level entry is not the common behavior of the variety of pest that was the cause of this warning letter. Despite this misrepresentation and wrongful diagnosis as a valid entry point, a sign on the rear door requiring it to be closed when not in use has been posted and all workers have been advised.

3.  Bakers have been retrained and advised of proper hair restraints. Restraints are provided and all workers have been advised and a sign has been posted as a reminder.

4.  I have posted a sign and confirmed with all employees as to proper storage of all personal belongings in the pantry area provided.

In conclusion, the problem has been resolved and no signs of pests have been seen in over 2.5 months. We acted as rapidly as possible to respond to a building wide situation. We took steps to prevent contamination of any foods produced. All workers have been advised and ongoing vigilance of cleaning and observation are in effect. We would like this response to the warning letter to be included on the FDA website, below the internet posting of this letter.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Evan J. Price
Blue Heron Bakery

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