Processing Magazine

Lifeway Foods responds to FDA allegations

May 19, 2008
According to the Associated Press, Lifeway Foods Inc., which makes the dairy drink kefir, said recently all of its production facilities remain operational after the Food and Drug Administration shut down its cream cheese and seafood lines.

The FDA filed a consent decree for a permanent injunction against Lifeway to halt the company''s cream cheese and seafood processing in facilities in Skokie, Ill. and Philadelphia, saying the company violated food safety laws.

The FDA, in a complaint filed by the Department of Justice, alleges that Lifeway distributed cream cheese products with inadequate labels that did not disclose food allergies, trans fat levels and complete ingredient lists.

The complaint also said Lifeway did not produce adequate plans for the safety of its seafood operations and did not document that it monitored sanitation conditions.

The consent degree for a permanent injunction was signed recently in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The company said its cream cheese spread product line, which is produced in Pennsylvania by subsidiary LFI Enterprises Inc., was the only product line temporarily affected.

Lifeway Foods said it "vigorously" disagrees with the allegations in the complaint.