A California-based health food company has agreed to pay $20,500 and change its operating practices to settle Utah Agricultural Department allegations it made and sold mislabeled and contaminated products.
In a settlement agreement signed Sept. 8 and released Monday, Sunrider International Corp., Torrance, Calif., agreed to pay the money in lieu of $45,000 recommended in earlier violation orders issued by the state.The company, which has a food manufacturing plant in Orem, also agreed to institute a quality control program "to ensure all Sunrider products are unadulterated, properly branded and contain only approved food ingredients and additives."
The company on Feb. 5 recalled 120,000 pounds of a soybean and herb mix contaminated with salmonella. It expanded the recall a few days later to include the company's Nutrien and Vitalite products.
Sunrider attorney Cecil McNab had estimated the recall and construction of a new manufacturing plant cost the company up to $5 million.
The agreement with Utah agriculture officials said Sunrider voluntarily destroyed soy-base food ingredients that were a potential source of salmonella contamination. And the company agreed to suspend use of soy-base ingredients until it could obtain them from an uncontaminated source.
The Agriculture Department last December and March had issued orders against Sunrider citing nine violations of food handling laws.
Violation orders accused the company of "numerous sanitation violations," salmonella-contaminated products, labels listing ingredients not contained in the products and use of unapproved food additives.
Department spokesman John Paulson said the agreement settles all past violation orders and "hopefully, we've put this behind us."
But the state Division of Consumer Protection is investigating complaints about the company products.