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Plainview Milk Products Cooperative Institutes New Policies and Procedures

MINNEAPOLIS, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Plainview Milk Products Cooperative, Plainview, Minnesota, continues to execute a voluntary recall of instant nonfat dried milk, whey protein, fruit stabilizers and gums (thickening agents) while making improvements to the dry ingredients production area in preparation for reinspection. Testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture of the Plainview products affected by the recall has not found any contamination and there have been no reports of illness related to the product, which is not sold directly to consumers.

According to Dallas Moe, general manager, Plainview Milk Products Cooperative, "Product safety is our first priority. We're making more improvements every day to our dry ingredients operation. It's important for our customers and our patrons to understand that we are still operating 80 percent of our business and we're doing everything we can to return to full production."

On July 7, the company received a letter from Greg Pitmann, food supervisor, Dairy and Food Inspection Division, Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The letter reaffirms Plainview's clearance to operate the remainder of the plant. The letter states, "The fluid Grade A raw milk, Grade A pasteurized cream, and Grade A pasteurized condensed nonfat products produced at Plainview Milk Products facility . . . are not included in the voluntary recall initiated on June 23. The only products that are part of the recall are instantized dry dairy products or other ingredients."

Employees at the plant are being retrained on safety and security procedures including the installation of a key-card entry system that restricts access to certain areas of the plant and a boot program that does not allow any employee to wear street shoes in the plant. They must change into disinfected boots when they start work and leave those boots inside the plant when they leave.

Plainview has completely disassembled the dry product processing equipment in question for cleaning and has implemented other precautionary remedial measures such as the use of anti-microbial surface coatings in order to ensure environmental safety. Company officials are working with an environmental consultant and their chemical supplier to review all of the plant's cleaning standard operating procedures.

Plainview has suspended production of the dry dairy products in question and is working with the FDA, USDA, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to develop procedures which will allow the company to resume production.

"Plainview has been making high-quality dairy products since 1899 and we've only had one other recall during the 1960s," added Moe. "We're proud of our outstanding safety record and we're working hard to get our dry ingredients operation back up again."

SOURCE Plainview Milk Products Cooperative
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