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Bean sprout company ordered by court to clean up its act or perish

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Alfred Louie Inc ,of Bakersfield, CA, has agreed not to process or distribute food until after it cleans up the unsanitary conditions including Listeria monocytogenes found during FDA inspections this past April and May.

The company “receives, processes, manufactures, prepares, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat mung bean and soybean sprouts and wheat flour noodles” It also packs and/or distributes various dry, refrigerated and frozen food items, such as flour, nuts, rice, tea and spices received from other manufacturers.

According to the consent decree of permanent injunction against Alfred Louie, Inc., and its owners, Gordon Louie and Victor Louie for “contamination in the company’s sprouts and facility, among other violations” approved by Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. of the Eastern District of the defendants “cannot process or distribute food until they demonstrate that their facility and processing equipment are suitable to prevent contamination in the food that they process, prepare, store and handle.”

In addition, the Louies must hire an independent lab to collect and analyde samples for any sign of listeria germs, as well as obtain the services of an independent sanitation expert.

“Companies have a responsibility to ensure that the food they produce is safe to eat and is made in accordance with federal law,” stated FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs Melinda K. Plaisier. “When a company continues to produce food that presents a risk for consumers, the FDA will take whatever steps necessary to protect public health.”

Common symptoms of listeria poisoning include high fever, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, stiffness and severe headaches. However, it can be fatal if contracted young children, frail or older people, and others with weakened immune systems.It has also be found to cause miscarriages in pregnant women as well as stillbirths.

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