Hygiene violations at Listeria waffle plant resolved, says Kellogg

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food safety Food and drug administration

Kellogg said it has fully addressed all the “significant deviations” from food production good practice at its Listeria-hit waffle plant, as catalogued by US safety regulators in a letter published Tuesday.

The food ginat was responding to the findings of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) probe which listed a raft of hygiene violations following the discovery of Listeria at its Eggo Buttermilk waffle plant in Georgia.

The agency sent the warning letter last month after inspecting the Atlanta facility in October 2009. It detailed a number of breaches including leaving uncovered rubbish just inches from raw materials, allowing potentially tainted water to drip onto food lines, and a number of unsatisfactory cleaning methods by employees.

The plant had been closed since August 2009 after the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) reported waffle samples had tested positive for Listeria. Kellogg said the site had also been affected by floods that hit the area at the end of September.

Plant improvements

Company spokesperson Kris Charles told FoodProductioDaily.com that food safety was of the utmost importance and that the issues raised by the FDA had been addressed.

“While the FDA letter was filed publicly [Tuesday], the situation described in the letter relates to inspections conducted four months ago in October after the plant was closed for enhanced cleaning and the flood in Atlanta that affected our facility,”​ said Charles.

“Before opening the facility, we worked cooperatively with both the agency and the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and we completed comprehensive testing and monitoring. We have made a variety of enhancements in our facility, and have fully addressed all of the observations in the letter.”

Charles said its Eggo waffle products were safe to consume.

Warning letter

In its letter, the FDA said Kellogg was guilty of “significant deviations from the current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations”.​ The agency confirmed five environmental swabs taken from the Bucknell Drive plant had tested positive for Listeria. It added that Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) testing results determined that three of the environmental swabs had a PFGE pattern identical to the positive sample gathered by the GDA. This was “significant” ​as it showed the potentially deadly bacteria had been transported throughout the facility, allowing it to form colonies.

The agency also raised concerns that a reply from Kellogg received on 18 November had failed to address the CGMP breaches. However, the company confirmed that it had now done this.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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