FDA enjoins Strasburg milk producer for sanitation problems

milk photo

Valley Milk Products LLC has been with with a permanent injunction by a federal court that orders the condemnation of seized milk powder products and prevents the further distribution of adulterated milk powder products.

The Agriculture Department filed a seizure action in the Western District of Virginia on Nov. 18, 2016, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The November complaint alleged that certain milk powder products of the defendants were manufactured under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, and may have been rendered injurious to health.

The latest filing resolves that seizure action and prohibits further use of the seized product unless specifically approved by the FDA, and additionally permanently enjoins the defendants from manufacturing milk powder products at their facility, absent compliance with certain specified remedial provisions.

“The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is designed to bolster public confidence in food safety by protecting consumers from unsafe food, including food produced under visibly insanitary conditions,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to work cooperatively with the FDA to ensure that food facilities employ proper precautions, so that our food is safe for consumption.”

Valley Milk Products LLC is a manufacturer of Grade A and non-Grade A milk products including milk powder products, condensed milk products, and butter.

As alleged in the complaint, during a 2016 inspection of Valley Milk, FDA confirmed the presence of Salmonella meleagridis in the Strasburg facility. Salmonella strains were nearly identical to Salmonella strains found at the firm in 2010, 2011, and 2013. In addition, the complaint alleged that Salmonella meleagridis was also present in the firm’s undistributed finished product samples.

The complaint also alleges that, in addition to the presence of Salmonella, the defendants’ milk processing facility had insanitary conditions, including dripping brown fluids and old product residue within the processing equipment. The complaint alleges that this evidence demonstrates that the firm’s sanitation practices were inadequate to control or eliminate Salmonella meleagridis in their processing environment.

The seized milk powder products have been condemned and forfeited to the United States. Under the provisions of the consent decree entered by the Court, Valley Milk may attempt to bring the condemned products into compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act under the supervision of the FDA. Valley Milk is prohibited from disposing of any part of the condemned food until FDA determines that the food has been safely reconditioned. If the food cannot be reconditioned, it will be destroyed by a method approved by FDA.


About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.