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Sysco fined storing meat, milk in no fridg sheds

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Posted by Don, Dueling Bubbas on July 18, 2014 at 15:02:22:

Believe some of you use Sysco. This is the end result of a July 2013 news item.

from :

Sysco fined for storing meat, milk in unrefrigerated sheds

Food distributor Sysco Corp. has agreed to pay almost $20 million in restitution and penalties for illegally holding seafood, milk and raw meat in unrefrigerated sheds, the U.S. district attorney in Santa Clara County, Calif., said in a news release.

Sysco food trucks delivered some small food orders to unrefrigerated and unsanitary sheds that were later transported by other employees in their personal vehicles to restaurants, hotels, hospitals and schools, according to the statement.

A July 2013 NBC report triggered an investigation by the California Department of Public Health and an enforcement proceeding brought by the California Food Drug and Medical Device Task Force comprised of 10 district attorneys' offices.

State inspectors found Sysco used 22 unregistered sites in California. Most had no refrigeration and some were unsanitary. Their complaint also addressed misleading advertising claims by Sysco, such as “We go to great lengths to ensure that our suppliers and our state-of-the-art distribution warehouses maintain the highest standards, often above and beyond government regulations."

Sysco voluntarily cooperated with the investigation. The company issued a statement saying it has eliminated the use of drop sites, introduced mandatory annual food safety training and is improving its food safety compliance controls.

“We sincerely regret that some of our California companies failed to adhere to our long-standing policies related to drop sites,” Sysco Chief Executive Bill DeLaney said. “We accept responsibility for the breakdown in our system in California, and we have taken this opportunity to improve our practices and to re-emphasize to our customers and our employees that food safety is our No. 1 priority."

The company has agreed to pay $15 million in penalties and more than $4 million in restitution, including a $1 million food contribution to food banks in California and $3.3 million for the cost of a five-year statewide program that will fund inspectors to enforce food transportation laws. Sysco is also required to develop a comprehensive food safety program to ensure the practices are not repeated.

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