The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in close coordination with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been working to address a tragic accident that occurred at the Western Sugar Cooperative’s Lovell, Wyo., manufacturing facility on Jan. 4, 2014.
The FDA has confirmed that no sugar or molasses manufactured by Western Sugar Cooperative has been distributed for human consumption since the accident occurred. The company has agreed to destroy all products manufactured for human consumption during this time.
During the period of Jan. 4 to Jan. 16, the company also produced beet by-products (beet pulp, beet pellets and tailings) for animal consumption. Some of the beet pulp and tailings were distributed to local cattle operations as livestock feed and may have been fed to cattle. None of the beet pellets were distributed. No feed products were distributed after Jan. 11.
With the FDA’s oversight, Western Sugar Cooperative has notified all of its customers that received these beet pulp and tailings and is in the process of retrieving the recalled products. The FDA is closely monitoring the recall.
The FDA has concluded that, while the animal feed product is adulterated there are no known human or animal health risks.
The FDA and WDA also requested that Western Sugar Cooperative develop and implement a sanitation plan for their manufacturing facility, which it has completed. FDA investigators remained on-site to oversee the sanitation operation and closed out their inspection on Jan. 24. Western Sugar Cooperative resumed processing of sugar beets that evening.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.