F.D.A. files complaint to close down juice maker

by Staff
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice filed a complaint on Oct. 7 to prevent the principals of Juices Incorporated, also known as Juices International and Juices Enterprises, from processing and distributing its products. The company has been charged with failure to have a hazard analysis and critical control point plan for certain juice products, such as the company’s carrot and beet juice products.

The F.D.A.’s most recent inspection of the Juices Incorporated facility in March 2010 found the same or similar violations observed during previous inspections of the company. The agency issued warning letters to the company in April 2008 and October 2009, and its managers promised to bring its operations into compliance but did not make the necessary changes.

Violations at the Juices Incorporated manufacturing facility observed by F.D.A. investigators include failure to adequately heat and refrigerate low-acid vegetable juices to destroy or prevent the growth of microorganisms; failure to properly clean food contact surfaces; and failure to maintain plumbing in a manner that avoids a possible source of food or water contamination.

The complaint also charges Juices Incorporated with failing to conform to current good manufacturing practice requirements for making, packing or holding juices properly. Juice products that are produced under conditions that do not comply with HACCP or G.M.P. requirements are considered adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The company primarily sells its products to food service operators in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. No illnesses associated with Juices Incorporated products have been reported to the F.D.A.

“Consumers must have a comfort level that the products they buy in their markets are safe to eat and to drink,” said Loretta E. Lynch, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “We will continue to act with the F.D.A. to ensure that companies that produce food and juice under dangerous conditions take corrective action.”

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