The FDA released the inspection report of the CRF facility that was responsible for the massive frozen vegetable recall. The inspection, conducted in March and transcribed below, found no blaring issues cited, but just some basic hits to the equipment and utensils used. Surprising? Not really, because a visual inspection is not going to identify low level contamination issues, such as what we expect was the case at CRF. While you can find signs of sanitation lapses in an inspection that can lead to harborage issues or indicators of overall poor sanitation, it is really microbial sampling that will provide an idea of control. Another important inspection is a review of the sampling being conducted by the facility - are they sampling for Listeria, how many samples, what are the results, is there corrective action, when are they sampling, who is doing the testing, how are they sampling, etc. In the end, is the facility really trying to find it, or are they doing testing just to say they are doing testing.
The transcription of the report:
The materials and workmanship of equipment and utensils does not allow proper cleaning and maintenance.
1) on 3/11 we observed a white plastic shovel with chips and cracks near the scoop and a shovel it was stored near the production line in his shoes for food contact number
2) On 3/14/16, we observed blue tape being used as a temporary fix to a cracked metal plate located above the ____for consumer pack line. During this inspection product designated for export was being used repacked on this line
3) On 3/16/15, we observed chipping, cracking and missing pieces of plastic in the following areas of the onion line, which during the inspection, was producing organic whole peeled onions
a) The clear plastic shield separating the _____was found ripped in the middle and broken and cracked on both edges
b) The plastic conveyor belt located between ________ had pieces of plastic missing from at least five of the legs coming to direct contact with the onions
c) Utility knives used to slice undesired pieces off of the onions have etched initials directly on the blades leaving a rough surface