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Federal Bureau of Investigation to seize the food Salem bakery

15 June 2009 992 views No Comment

Federal authorities seized food, ingredients and finished baked goods on Friday from a Salem bread bakery after inspections revealed dead mice, mold and other unsanitary conditions.

Several inspections, including one last month, found live and dead mice, insect-infested raw ingredients, unclean equipment and mold and mildew on the walls and ceilings of food processing areas inside N2 Dough, known as Plantation Pride Foods, on Apperson Drive.

A March inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found insect infestation and “widespread and active rodent infestation,” according to a complaint filed in the Western District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The inspection found 19 live rodents, five dead rodents and rodent feces.

The May inspection uncovered more of the same.

“The owner/president did not implement any significant changes to improve the sanitary conditions at the firm since the end of the March 2009 inspection,” state court documents said.

The owner also did not provide the FDA with a time frame for addressing and changing the conditions at the bread company, according to the complaint.

This isn’t the first time that unsanitary conditions have been uncovered at Plantation Pride. Since the company was incorporated in 2004, the VDACS found similar issues during five inspections through February 2008, state court documents show.

Plantation Pride sells its bread products to some local restaurants, though it’s unclear how many. The New Yorker Delicatessen in Roanoke is one of its accounts.

Manager Jamie Thurman said the restaurant threw out all of its bread from Plantation Pride on Friday when it heard about the seizure. Already, the Williamson Road eatery had ordered a fresh shipment of kaiser, onion and sub rolls from the U.S. Food Service for the weekend. That’s because the owner of Plantation Pride called the restaurant on Friday morning to inform them that there would not be a delivery that day.

Thurman initially thought the bakery had an equipment malfunction until he later learned about its poor conditions.

“When something like that happens, it’s bad,” he said.

For now, Thurman said, the New Yorker will order its bread from the U.S. Food Service.

In Salem, Plantation Pride’s teal building sits behind Bastians Bar-B-Q. On Friday, court documents announcing the federal action were attached to the side of the structure, beside the door.

Chryl D. Cox is listed as the president of N2 Dough on State Corporation Commission documents.

The company did not answer calls for comment on Friday. Cox also did not return a call to her home.

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