SARANAC — A West Michigan food processor is ceasing operations after a series of health inspections from state and federal agencies found Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) in the company’s food preparation area.
Saranac Brand Foods Inc., a Saranac-based company that manufactures ready-to-eat foods, was ordered by the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan to “discontinue selling food products until the company complies with federal regulations and other requirements,” according to a statement from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month.
“The FDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have documented a pattern of food safety violations at this facility,” FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, Melinda Plaisier said in a statement. “The inappropriate and unsafe practices of Saranac Brand Foods not only violated the law, but also put consumers in harm’s way. This type of behavior is unacceptable to the FDA and is why we took action to prevent the defendants from introducing contaminated or potentially contaminated food products into the marketplace.”
On three separate occasions since 2012, the FDA and state officials inspected Saranac Brand Foods’ facility and found L. mono, a pathogenic bacterium that can cause listeriosis, a rare illness.
According to the FDA, a consent decree of permanent injunction from U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney toward Saranac Brand Foods “prohibits the defendants from receiving, preparing, processing, packing, holding, labeling and/or distributing foods at or from their facility, or any other facility, until certain requirements are met.”
In response, the FDA said Saranac Brand Foods “discontinued all food operations in August 2018 and intend(s) to dissolve the company.”
Prior to its closure, Saranac Brand Foods manufactured 35 different ready-to-eat salads, dips and sauces.