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Chicago tortilla maker shut down by FDA

7 March 2009 1,900 views No Comment

(Crain’s) — A Chicago tortilla maker was shut down Friday by the Food and Drug Administration for food safety violations.

On Friday the FDA obtained a permanent injunction that bars Del Rey Tortilleria at 5201 W. Grand Ave. from producing and selling flour tortillas until the federal agency determines that its facilities meet sanitation and food-processing standards.

The company will continue to manufacture tostadas, fried tortilla chips and masa.

The company also has plants at 1023 W. 18th St. and 2701 S. Trumbull Ave.

Jeannette Toledo, president and owner of Del Rey, and general managers Marcellina Toledo and Dorothy De La Torre had agreed to comply with the permanent injunction and will work with the FDA to bring the plants up to code.

A Del Ray representative was not available for comment.

The permanent injunction was obtained as part a lawsuit against the company that the FDA filed Friday in federal court.

The FDA claimed in its suit that Del Rey stored toxic chemicals including WD-40 and cleaning products near food and production equipment. Other alleged violations include using paint buckets to store raw food ingredients and failing to maintain plumbing systems that resulted in possible contamination of the food-processing area.

The complaint links Del Rey’s products to a 2007 outbreak of gastrointestinal sickness among Wisconsin schoolchildren. The company’s products are sold to restaurants, grocery stores, food processors and distributors.

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