The Food and Drug Administration on Friday sued a Chicago food maker
alleging food safety
violations that were linked to illnesses in schoolchildren.
Del Rey Tortilleria Inc. agreed to a
consent decree that bars the company from producing and selling flour
tortillas until the federal regulators determine that sanitation and
food-processing standards are being met.
The four tortillas were linked to outbreaks of
gastrointestinal illness in school children in Wisconsin
The children suffered nausea, headaches,
cramps and dizziness after consuming chicken fajitas and tacos
prepared by the company.
“It was serious enough that the [Food and Drug Administration]
thought it was important that they stop making tortillas until the company
comes into compliance,” Assistant US Atty. Donald Lorenzen
Several FDA inspections at the company’s Illinois plant showed several violations
including cleaning chemicals stored improperly, unsuitable containers used
for food processing and other unsanitary conditions.
Following the FDA lawsuit, the company must hire sanitation and
food processing experts to develop quality control measures and to inspect
and certify that the company complies with the FDA’s current Good
Manufacturing Practice requirements for food.
Not complying with the FDA requirements could result in the
FDA ordering the company to stop manufacturing and distributing food, to
recall products or to take other corrective actions. Furthermore, the
company could be ordered to pay $6,000 per day for being non-compliant.