WASHINGTON — Federal and state inspectors did not turn up Listeria monocytogenes at the Crunch Pak processing facility, nor did it find deficiencies in the plant's operations, according to Amy Philpott, spokesperson for Crunch Pak, which voluntarily recalled apple slice products earlier this month.
Cashmere, WA-based Crunch Pak launched a Nov. 14 recall of 5,471 cases of apple slice products after Minnesota Department of Agriculture investigators found Listeria monocytogenes in a single sample of a 14-ounce apple slice package taken at retail.
The good news is that Food & Drug Administration investigators, who conducted the multi-day inspection, did not find deficiencies in the plant's operations and no root cause for the contamination, Philpott said, adding that environmental and final product tests taken by the company, Washington State Department of Agriculture and FDA have all been negative.
Crunch Pak still doesn't know how or where in the supply chain this one, intact bag could have become contaminated.
But the company has asked IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, a leading food-safety expert, to "walk alongside" the company and go over its processes and protocols, Philpott said. Crunch Pak is looking "to identify anything it can do to further enhance" its food-safety program.
Even though one sample of one product tested positive, the company said it voluntarily recalled five additional products because they were processed on the same line and on the same day as the tainted sample.
The following products were recalled: Crunch Pak Tart Apple Slices, 14-ounce bag (11/14/13); Crunch Pak Tart Apple Slices, two-ounce bag with Low Fat Caramel Dip Multi Pak of 5 (11/14/13); Crunch Pak Tart Apple Slices, two-ounce bag Multi Pak of 6 (11/14/13); Crunch Pak Tart Apple Slices, three-pound bag (11/14/13); Crunch Pak Sweet Honeycrisp Apple Slices, 12-ounce bag (11/14/13); and Crunch Pak Blue Raspberry Flavorz Apple Slices, two-ounce bag Multi Pak of 5 with Monster University (11/18/13).