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FDA not doing their job?

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AltonBrownFanClub

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Posted 01 October 2021 - 08:13 PM

I got an email about this incident today, and I am confused.

https://www.fda.gov/...rce=govdelivery

The FDA inspected the facility sometime between June 8th and 28th. They mention rodent droppings too numerous to count, inspects, and pest nests within products.

How the %$&* are they just now seizing unsafe products? How can an auditor/ government authority see that and allow it to continue for over 3 months? 

I don't understand from a food safety professional standpoint, and it's very upsetting as a potential consumer. Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Why does the FDA have authority if they won't use it to stop negligent companies? 



detario

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Posted 01 October 2021 - 08:41 PM

That's mildly horrifying, I'm not sure if it has to do with the FDA giving them a warning letter and awaiting their response, but that is a scary amount of time to pass without a shutdown considering the issues.



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Ryan M.

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Posted 01 October 2021 - 09:13 PM

Not an inspector, but after a number of FDA inspections I would say inspectors are in a very tough spot.  They do have the authority to shut a company down, but making that decision can be HUGE.  I've had inspectors step outside to call their boss's about some things they have found in facilities I've managed.  They were all minor things and certainly nothing to shut any of the companies down, but just a minor thing and they call their boss? 

 

I would say that food companies are partly to blame, along with not necessarily recognizing or backing FDA inspectors in the aftermath of an inspection.  A LOT of it is political, unfortunately.



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Posted 01 October 2021 - 10:00 PM

I guess throughout school I assumed that huge safety issues shut down a business immediately. No questions asked.
Now that I am in the industry, I see this is not the case. 

Unfortunately, upper management compares our facility to examples like this. When they see relatively small punishments (served 3 months later) it means we can get away with it too and have 3 months+ to correct issues. 
 

It would make doing the right thing (and convincing others to follow) easier if there were legitimate consequences for wrongdoing.
Maybe I am getting burnt out, and maybe I am too cynical, but this theme seems all too common working in food safety.

I hope you all have better experiences with your suppliers and employers.



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Posted 02 October 2021 - 08:50 AM

I guess throughout school I assumed that huge safety issues shut down a business immediately. No questions asked.
Now that I am in the industry, I see this is not the case. 

Unfortunately, upper management compares our facility to examples like this. When they see relatively small punishments (served 3 months later) it means we can get away with it too and have 3 months+ to correct issues. 
 

It would make doing the right thing (and convincing others to follow) easier if there were legitimate consequences for wrongdoing.
Maybe I am getting burnt out, and maybe I am too cynical, but this theme seems all too common working in food safety.

I hope you all have better experiences with your suppliers and employers.

Hi ABFC,

 

Does the relevant facility have a QA section ?

 

If Yes,  I suggest that FDA are not the only RCA problem to solve ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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kfromNE

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 11:44 AM

It would make doing the right thing (and convincing others to follow) easier if there were legitimate consequences for wrongdoing.

Maybe I am getting burnt out, and maybe I am too cynical, but this theme seems all too common working in food safety.

I hope you all have better experiences with your suppliers and employers.

I would argue that this is really seen in every industry. Some business CEO's, etc only care about the money and will cut corners without caring who it affects. Then you have employees who will follow along with this. In the food industry, as seen on many threads, many have been in this situation and do care about food safety so they get out and find a company that cares as well.



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Scampi

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 12:22 PM

In Canada, if the infraction is bad enough, you only have 7 days to submit corrective actions and the follow up inspection will occur almost simultaneously

 

In this situation here, they have the power to demand the operator make a disposition decision on the spot, and they will affix CFIA hold tags and it is a huge fine/operator license being revoked if you ship said product out

 

There are no politics involved, they follow the rules as written


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TimG

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 12:52 PM

Unfortunately in the USA, we've come well past the point where corporations dictate most of these regulatory issues. Corporations are far better funded than the regulatory bodies and have slowly but insidiously cut regulators' legs out from under them with lobbying and back room business deals. This ends up impacting everything the auditors inspect, and makes them gun-shy about doing their jobs. Not to mention the average low to mid level FDA inspector in the US makes about 30-45 grand and have to deal with tons of politics.

 

I guess the short version of this is we, as a people, let it get to this point.



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Posted 04 October 2021 - 01:41 PM

I think I was shocked because I drew similarities from the facility in the article and the one I am currently working in. 

I think it may be time to follow the lead of others in my situation. If my words and the FDA's actions can't convince people to do what's right, it may be time to explore other options.

 

It's been tough parking my 1995 Toyota next to Maseratis every day and know I'm being underpaid and my opinion isn't respected. 

Sorry for venting. Have quite a case of the Mondays... 



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TimG

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 02:56 PM

Yeah, I hear ya. And when you step back and look at the bigger picture it only gets worse..

https://www.tcworker...eft-in-the-u-s/



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Posted 04 October 2021 - 03:09 PM

I have to say, as a non-american, it would appear (as I have stated before) that because you're actually a republic and not a country, having laws that actually affect change is virtually impossible.

 

as large corporations become aware of this (in all it's warty glory) they figure out pretty quickly how to exploit the system

 

the system does NOT favour the companies trying to do the right thing

 

It would seem, sadly, that the horror that was the Peanut Corporation of America left no lasting impression on your governments


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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Posted 04 October 2021 - 06:44 PM

As per usual, I think you're right on the money, Scampi. Thank God for blind copies on emails  :o

I have to say, as a non-american, it would appear (as I have stated before) that because you're actually a republic and not a country, having laws that actually affect change is virtually impossible.

 

as large corporations become aware of this (in all it's warty glory) they figure out pretty quickly how to exploit the system

 

the system does NOT favour the companies trying to do the right thing

 

It would seem, sadly, that the horror that was the Peanut Corporation of America left no lasting impression on your governments



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kingstudruler1

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Posted 05 October 2021 - 09:02 PM

its really way worse than you think.   

 

They and the co-occupant of thier building had stop orders from back in march.   Six failed inspection in a row from florida ag.   I quit trying to trace down the different companies the owners were registered to.    How or why major retailer are associated with them, ill never know.   



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Posted 05 October 2021 - 09:49 PM

That is ridiculous. I wish I was able to see pictures of this place. I can only imagine how bad it is.

If the regulatory authorities are hesitant to impose fines or force shutdowns, the least they could do is better inform the public.
 

I'm finding it hard to maintain faith in this industry.

Maybe I'll just go back to pouring concrete  :rock:  
 

its really way worse than you think.   

 

They and the co-occupant of thier building had stop orders from back in march.   Six failed inspection in a row from florida ag.   I quit trying to trace down the different companies the owners were registered to.    How or why major retailer are associated with them, ill never know.   



Ryan M.

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Posted 05 October 2021 - 11:36 PM

The only real risk for American food business is damage to the brand they can't recover from.  Aside from this....losing a customer, or thousands or customers aren't really that bad in the grand scheme of things.

 

I've been lucky, well also I vetted, the companies I work for to understand how they would react to incidents like these.  Every company I've worked for has been proactive and never gotten to a point where a regulator would even consider shutting them down to holding / recalling product.  I mean...if that happens in the US your company is really operating at bare minimum standards.  As much as we hate it at times, what Wal-Mart did to spur the requirement of a third-party audit scheme, like SQF, did A LOT of good for the industry.  Sure it isn't perfect, and you run into these buttheads, but I think overall the industry is far better than it was 10 to 15 years ago.



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SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 07:29 PM

The FDA has not been doing its job properly for a long time. Now it is operating under the defunct us corporation and thus expected to dehrade even further.

I imagine purging of the FDA may be a short time away.


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kingstudruler1

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 07:58 PM

The FDA has not been doing its job properly for a long time. Now it is operating under the defunct us corporation and thus expected to dehrade even further.

I imagine purging of the FDA may be a short time away.

 

What US gov department goes operate properly?  LOL.   



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TimG

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Posted 07 October 2021 - 12:50 PM

What US gov department goes operate properly?  LOL.   

The IRS. Just enough staff to get those middle class income thieves, not nearly enough to properly audit any big corps.

Working as intended. :roflmao:



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