SoyNut Butter maker Dixie Dew Products, Inc. of Erlanger, Kentucky, has been under the scanner, since one of its batches of the peanut butter substitute was found tainted with the E.coli bacteria.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken strict action against the company, suspending the food facility registration of Dixie Dew. The FDA took this initiative after conducting an inspection of Dixie Dew's manufacturing plant on March 28.

The suspension comes a few weeks after the company recalled its I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and Granola products. The company was forced to recall the products as several people across 12 states were hospitalized after consuming them.

What Did The FDA Find?

The administrative body started inspecting and investigating Dixie Dew's manufacturing facility after reports of E.coli outbreak among those who consumed I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products. The inspection was performed between March 3 and March 15.

The FDA report states that initially, the company was reluctant to give the inspection team access to production records, as well as environmental sampling. However, eventually, the FDA was granted access when it issued a Demand for Records — under section 414 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Upon inspection, the civic body discovered glaring flaws and lack of proper sanitation inside the facility. These issues were reported to Dixie Dew, and it assured the FDA that all problems would be addressed.

"FDA found the corrective actions were not adequate to fully address the risks that were identified, and issued the Suspension Order to prevent further illnesses from occurring," states the official report.

While the suspension is in effect, the makers will be unable to sell or distribute any of the food products manufactured in the facility. The FDA states that this suspension is temporary and will be lifted once Dixie Dew meets the safety standards.

At this juncture, it is not known if any other product manufactured in the facility — apart from the SoyNut Butter — has been contaminated.

States Affected By E.Coli

Oregon led the pack with nine reported cases of the bacterial infection from the contaminated product, followed by California and Arizona with five and four cases, respectively. Two cases were reported each in Washington and Virginia. Moreover, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, and Wisconsin each reported one case of the disease.

E.Coli Symptoms

Infected individuals often suffer from bloody diarrhea and severe stomach pain, which may be accompanied by mild fever. Most people recover after five to seven days, but the bacterial infection can sometimes be life threatening as well.

Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr

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