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Federal court shuts down powder milk producer

Sunday, March 19, 2017 22:00
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Additional U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement against Valley Milk Products LLC was taken last week. In  civil action, the government and Valley Milk Products LLC entered into a consent decree of condemnation, and U.S. District Court for the Western Division of Virginia issued an order for a permanent injunction against any distribution of adulterated milk powder products.

At FDA’s request, the U.S. Department of Justice last Nov. 18 filed a seizure action to allow the food safety agency to take possession of certain milk powder products that Valley Milk Products had manufactured under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth and been rendered injurious to health.

Earlier government action permitted the seizure and condemnation of powdered projects from the Valley Milk facility at Strasburg, VA. The company, along with employee defendants Michael W. Curtis, Robert D. Schroeder, and Jennifer J. Funkhouser are all prohibited from making any additional powdered milk without complying with “certain specified remedial provisions” set forth by FDA.

In a statement, a DOJ spokesman said the government attorneys will work with FDA two “ensure the food facilities employ proper precautions, so that our food is safe for consumption.”

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

FDA found Salmonella meleagridis in the Strasburg facility in 2016, 2013, 2011 and 2010. The discovery last year led to recalls by Valley Milk and others using their milk products as ingredients.

The permanent injunction further prohibits Valley Milk from  disposing of any of the condemned food until FDA determines if it can be reconditioned. Only then can it be destroyed by a method approved by FDA.

Valley Milk cannot resume manufacturing unless correction actions are taken under FDA supervision. In addition to the presence of Salmonella inside the facility, FDA inspectors found insanitary conditions, including dripping brown fluids and old residue in the processing equipment.

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