The US Food and Drugs Administration has shut down the Roos Foods Inc cheese production facility following a listeria outbreak in which one person died and seven were hospitalised.

The "suspension" was ordered on 11 March following an investigation which "determined there was a reasonable probability of food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by Roos Foods causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans," the body said in a statement.

The facility was inspected by the FDA between 18 February and 4 March 2014. Investigators claimed to find "insanitary conditions". 

The FDA said: 

  • "The roof leaking so badly that water was raining down into the cheese processing room, including onto the cheese processing equipment and storage tanks;
  • standing water on the floor throughout the cheese curd processing room in proximity to the cheese vats and in the storage rooms;
  • metal roof/ceiling and metal supports exhibiting a rusted appearance with metal flaking precluding effective cleaning and sanitizing;
  • food residues found on equipment after cleaning had been performed;
  • openings to milk storage tanks and transfer piping were not capped to prevent contaminants from entering or contaminating food contact surfaces; and
  • floors, wall, and equipment that were deteriorated and in bad repair, including processing equipment and storage vats with rust holes and floors with rough concrete deterioration."

A swab-test on different areas of the facility found 12 that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, 11 of which carried the same "DNA-fingerprint" as the outbreak strain.

No-one at Roos Foods was available for comment when approached by just-food.