Erlanger company's product still being sold after E. coli outbreak

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Erlanger company's product still being sold after
E. coli outbreak

Leftover jars were still being sold on Amazon, months
after the FDA shut down Erlanger's Dixie Dew plant

Jars of I.M. Healthy's recalled soy butter were available on Amazon's site last week, meaning customers could potentially get a large helping of E. coli along with their sandwiches.

The butter was produced by Dixie Dew of Erlanger which went out of business several months ago as a result of the E. coli outbreak.

Besides the health danger, it's illegal to sell products that are part of a recall, whether it's at your garage sale, in a big-box retail store, or through an online mega-retail platform.

I.M. Healthy filed for bankruptcy in May, and the FDA shut down Dixie Dew, the soy butter processing facility, in March. Soy butter has a long shelf life, though, and the product may keep making people sick for years into the future. What no one expected, though, was for retailers to keep selling the butter almost six months after it was pulled from stores.

In a statement to Consumerist, a rep for the FDA says the agency has verified that the jars have now been removed from Amazon.

"We are investigating further to determine how the products were still available for sale," says the FDA.

"Many online retailers will create filters to prevent recalled products from being relisted for sale. Unfortunately, some listings make it through those filters. The suspension order is still in effect."

On March 28, 2017, the FDA suspended the food facility registration of Dixie Dew of Erlanger, Kentucky, because products manufactured in this facility "may be contaminated."

The FDA's decision to suspend the registration of Dixie Dew Products was prompted by the E. coli outbreak and the findings of FDAís March 2017 inspection of Dixie Dew, which identified insanitary conditions that could lead to that contamination.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017, to March 5, 2017.

Inside the Dixie Dew plant, inspectors recorded broken temperature controls, a fly and larva infestation, liquid dripping from the ceiling and onto production areas and food making equipment stored on dirty floors, Food Safety News reported.

They also heard testimony from supervisors who said production machines hadnít been cleaned since 2015, and that some equipment had been broken for 15 years.

Facing expensive fines, potential consumer lawsuits and the cost of modernizing the plant for acceptance by the FDA, Dixie Dew opted to go out of business.

The E.coli scare received major media attention across across the country, yet not much locally except for consistent coverage by Northern Kentucky News.

Amazon withdrew the product from its website last week after Food Safety News started asking questions.