Lost control of process, lousy training; Minnesota firm fined after listeria in peanut butter recall

Mike Hughlett of the Star Tribune writes that Parkers Farm, a Coon Rapids food manufacturer, has been fined $1,900 for food safety lapses after an extensive recall of peanut butter, cheese and other products in January.

The recall from such stores as Cub, Rainbow, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods and Hy-Vee was prompted by tests that found listeria bacteria in finished Parkers Farm’s products. It led to a temporary shutdown of the company’s plant.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that Parkers Farm was cited for selling adulterated food.

The state also found that the firm lost control of its manufacturing process and failed to adequately train and supervise workers, said Michael Schommer, a department spokesman.

Parkers Farm also must reimburse the state $46,000 for lab testing connected to the recall.

No illnesses were reported at the time of the recall, which involved 12 products.