Conditions in VIP Foods’ rodent-infested facility “just deplorable”, says FDA

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Kashrut

FDA: 'The conditions included live rodents, a dead, desiccated rodent, and what appeared to be rodent tracks, rodent gnaw holes, and rodent excreta pellets in or near food products'
FDA: 'The conditions included live rodents, a dead, desiccated rodent, and what appeared to be rodent tracks, rodent gnaw holes, and rodent excreta pellets in or near food products'
US Marshals have seized food products from the Ridgewood, NY, factory and warehouse of kosher food specialist V.I.P. Foods after FDA investigators found “widespread rodent infestation”.

According to a press release issued yesterday, US Marshals operating at the agency’s behest seized several foods in the manufacturing facility and warehouse operated by V.I.P. Foods Inc., on Friday April 12, under a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.                                     

During an inspection in February, FDA investigators found “unsanitary conditions throughout the facility in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act”,​ said the FDA.

“The conditions included live rodents, a dead, desiccated rodent, and what appeared to be rodent tracks, rodent gnaw holes, and rodent excreta pellets in or near food products.”

The conditions inside the warehouse - which housed dried soup, bakery mixes and other products - “were just deplorable​,” added Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.  

Some of V.I.P. Foods products are distributed under the name VIP Foods Inc., VIP, V.I.P., or KoJel. However, it also distributes other products under private label.

V.I.P. Foods did not respond to requests for comment from FoodNavigator-USA.

To date, no illnesses have been associated with V.I.P. Foods products, said the agency, which says illnesses or adverse events related to use of these products should be reported to the FDA at caers@fda.hhs.gov​ or by calling 240-402-2405.

According to its website​, V.I.P Foods - which is owned and operated by the Freund Family - was founded in 1983 as a supplier of soup bases and dessert mixes to the foodservice industry. A merger with KOJEL food Company in the mid 1980s facilitated its entry into the retail, supermarket, and private label markets 

Related topics: Regulation, Food safety

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