The FDA announced last Friday that RZM Food Factory in Makawao, Hawaii agreed to stop processing and distributing food products until the company is in compliance with federal law. A federal judge signed a consent decree or permanent injunction and entered it in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii last Thursday.
The day before, the FDA filed a complaint for permanent injunction against RZM Food Factory, which manufactures, prepares, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat mung bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, clover sprouts and radish sprouts.
During the FDA’s most recent inspection of RZM Food Factory’s facilities in April, it found several different types of pests, including cockroaches. FDA investigators also saw lizard feces in the growing room and a slug on a growing bed of sprouts. It also found litter and waste in and outside the facility.
The FDA also alleges that the facilities and equipment were not maintained. During the inspection, rain leaked onto the growing beds. “The rainwater can be contaminated from birds and other animals and thus serve as a route for contaminating sprouts with pathogens,” the FDA said. It also said the irrigation tanks were rusty, corroded and uncovered.
In several inspections since 2001, the FDA found similar unsanitary conditions.