A tofu producer in Chicago has stopped the production of all food due to committing several food safety violations.
Fortune Food Product, which produces soy products and bean sprouts, agreed to halt its production this week after a complaint was filed on Sept. 10 in Chicago federal court. Federal inspectors allegedly saw live rodents in the East Pilsen facility as well as other food safety violations. (8 Major Food Recalls You Need to Know About Right Now).
Government inspectors evidently witnessed an employee use mung bean sprouts that had dropped onto the floor. They also saw employees in the facility submerge their arms into tofu water without wearing any protective gloves. Peter Y. Qui, attorney for Steven Seeto, the president and majority owner of Fortune Foods, told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday that his clients "are cooperating with the government and that Fortune Food's operations have been shut down for several months." (Related: 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply)
According to Qiu, the company supposedly hasn't received any complaints about its products thus far. "We're working with food specialists and experts to make sure that all applicable corrections are made so that production can be resumed," he said to the Tribune.
The FDA released on Tuesday that it wasn't aware of any confirmed illnesses linked to the food manufacturer's products, which include meat substitutes, pulses, and rice just to name a few. However, this isn't the company's first run-in with the FDA. In July 2018, the FDA issued a warning letter to Fortune Food Product after inspections revealed that the company failed to comply with the produce safety rule.
Evidently, the food manufacturer was written up for failure to clean and sanitize equipment and food contact surfaces. It also failed to test for Listeria and other pathogens as well as "protect food from pests."
In order to resume operation in the upcoming months, Fortune Food Product will have to hire an independent food safety expert to closely monitor workers and ensure FDA safety standards are upheld.