FDA orders Idaho juice company to cease operations
FDA ordered Sun Valley Juice Company of Ketchum, Idaho, to stop receiving, processing, preparing, packing, holding, and distributing juice until the federal agency determines the company is in compliance with food safety laws and regulations.
Sun Valley Juice Company received a letter from FDA ordering it to cease all operations, and confirm within five days that it has complied with the letter. FDA said the company has complied with the demands outlined in the letter.
In 2006, a federal judge ordered the company to establish and implement a hazard prevention plan, but FDA said its investigators have repeatedly found the company out of compliance.
“When a company repeatedly disobeys food safety laws and regulations, and does not stick to a court-ordered agreement designed to protect public health, the FDA must use the full power of the courts to protect consumers,” said Melinda Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.
Founded more than 20 years ago, Sun Valley manufactures fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juices. Unlike other companies which pasteurize their juice to preserve the product, Sun Valley uses rind oil to naturally preserve the juice. “We give you what Mother Nature gave us,” states the company’s mission statement on its website.
Since the company does not pasteurize its juice, FDA says it must take other steps to prevent potentially harmful bacteria from contaminating its juice. The consent decree and subsequent inspections were intended to ensure that the company was taking these necessary steps designed to protect human health. The company can resume operations only once the FDA is confident it can abide by the appropriate laws and regulations.
Sun Valley states its juice is strictly regulated under the USDA's Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP). The product is tested once every 10 to 14 days and there has never been a negative test, the company said.