F.D.A. moves to shut down juice maker

by Keith Nunes
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JAMAICA, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Justice, at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, has filed a complaint for permanent injunction against Mystical One L.L.C. to prevent it from processing and distributing juice and other products. The complaint charges the company with failure to have a hazard analysis and critical control point plan for the processing of certain juice products, and for failing to comply with good manufacturing practices.

No illnesses have been associated with products manufactured by the company, but F.D.A. investigators observed several violations while inspecting the company’s facility. Violations observed included failure to adequately heat low-acid vegetable juices to destroy microorganisms; failure to properly clean food contact surfaces; and failure to maintain and monitor sanitation conditions.

Products and brands produced by the company include fresh carrot juice, Magnum food drink, pineapple ginger drink, sorrel and ginger, sea moss, and peanut punch.

“This action shows that F.D.A. will take strong enforcement action against companies that fail to put the required preventive controls in place to protect their customers from food-borne illness,” said Dara A. Corrigan, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “Mystical One failed to adhere to food safety guidelines and we have asked the court to stop their operation.”

After an inspection in 2009, the F.D.A. issued a warning letter to Mystical One regarding observations made during the inspection. A follow-up inspection in 2010 found similar problems and led to the F.D.A. requesting the injunction against the company.

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