The ubiquitous fortune cookie, a staple of any Chinese takeout, could be a cesspool of dirt, disease and disgustingness.
But it’s New Jersey.
According to Daily Finance, when inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration visited the fortune cookie manufacturing plant in Atlanta owned by the Well Luck Co., a New Jersey company that distributes Asian food nationwide, they made some horrific discoveries. During the two-week inspection this summer, which resulted in a warning letter being issued, FDA inspectors found live and dead mice, rats and “roach-like insects.”
The FDA reported that the facility was not taking basic precautions to prevent pests, and was failing to follow many food hygiene guidelines. The FDA noted in its Sept. 17 letter that the manufacturer had not responded to requests to address the alleged violations and warned, “You should take prompt actions to correct the violations cited in this letter. Failure to promptly and adequately correct these violations may result in FDA initiation of regulatory actions, including but not limited to, seizure of your products or injunction.”
“Unpackaged fortune cookies were observed sitting directly on the floor of the fortune cookie packaging room,” the FDA letter said. “Without any barrier between the warehouse and the fortune cookie packaging room, rodents in the warehouse area have direct access into the food processing areas of the facility where they may contaminate the food, food packaging materials and food processing equipment.”
In its warning letter, the FDA said it had discovered bags of flour that had been ripped open by rodents and that both rodent feces and urine were found in the food manufacturing facility. Food and food products were on floors all around the plant, the FDA said.
“The violations, which include evidence of active rodent activity, render the products held at your facility adulterated … in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” the letter to Well Luck CEO Chris T. Li said.
Well Luck officials did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the FDA inspection and letter.