Well, it looks more and more as though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been listening to all those critics who say it needs to stop acting like a wimp bureacracy. Now it is flexing its "food safety" muscles. A month or so ago (see earlier blog, it clamped down hard on a renegade alfalfa grower who had been refusing to clean up its alfalfa production practices for years. Then it was the turn of a rat-infested chili warehouse in New Mexico, that the FDA finally closed down - again, after it had repeatedly thumbed its nose at the government regulators (I have a feeling I am getting my metaphors in a mess here..).
Today, it was announced that the FDA had filed an injunction against a juice manufacturer in Jamaica, New York, which had been refusing to do as it was told for at least 14 months. It had been selling its products to food service establishments primarily in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
The company, bearing the wonderful name of "Mystical One LLC" or "Mystical One Juice LLC" manufactured Fresh Carrot Juice, Magnum Food Drink, Pineapple Ginger Drink, Sorrel & Ginger Drink, Sea Moss, and Peanut Punch - which were anything but clean. In fact, they could be downright deadly (as in "lethal" to anyone who drinks it) because of risks of Clostridium botulinum bacteria that can germinate in the carrot juice. The infractions cited by the FDA include failure by Mystic One to:
• adequately heat low-acid vegetable juices to destroy or prevent growth of dangerous microorganisms;
• properly clean food-contact surfaces; and
• maintain and monitor sanitation conditions at the manufacturing facility to prevent sources of possible food and water contamination.
The official statement said: "Mystical One failed to adhere to food safety guidelines and we have stopped their operation."