* Eggo waffles tested positive for Listeria in Aug. 2009
* FDA in Oct 2009 found Listeria in Atlanta plant
* Agency also found sanitation violations
* Kellogg says it has fully addressed matters raised
(Adds Kellogg response; updates shares)
LOS ANGELES, Feb 16 U.S. food safety regulators
on Tuesday made public a January warning letter to Eggo waffle
maker Kellogg Co (K.N) in which they said the company had not
gone far enough to address food safety violations at its
Atlanta frozen food plant.
An October 2009 Atlanta plant inspection found bacterial
contamination and sanitation violations such as improper
handling of trash and food, and insufficiently sanitized
equipment, the FDA said.
The FDA's letter, dated Jan. 27, comes after the Georgia
Department of Agriculture found Listeria bacteria in Eggo
Buttermilk Waffles on Aug. 31.
Kellogg's plant had "significant deviations" from the
manufacturing practices for food manufacturers and Kellogg's
response so far had not addressed the violations, the agency
Kellogg said on Tuesday it has fully addressed all of the
violations and that its response to the FDA letter would be
FDA inspectors found Listeria on five swabs from around the
Atlanta plant. One of those positive swabs came from the wheels
of a forklift used in the plant.
Listeria is a bacteria that can contaminate food and cause
a mild illness or a severe, sometimes life-threatening, illness
called invasive listeriosis.
The FDA said the company listed a number of corrective
actions in its Nov. 18 updated response to the agency, but said
Kellogg needed to go further.
FDA said it is "essential" for Kellogg to identify all of
the areas in its facility were Listeria can grow and survive
and to take the actions necessary to control the organism. The
regulator also recommended that Kellogg start a pathogen
Kellogg said the inspections were conducted after the plant
was closed for enhanced cleaning and repairs from a flood that
affected production at the plant.
The company said it worked with FDA and the Georgia
Department of Agriculture prior to opening the plant and that
it completed comprehensive testing and monitoring.
"We have made a variety of enhancements in our facility,
and have fully addressed all of the observations in the
letter," Kellogg spokesman Kris Charles said in an email.
Shares in Kellogg were up 18 cents to $52.52 on the New
York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Additional reporting by Susan
Heavey in Washington; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Tim