FDA: Yakima food processor repackaged moldy applesauce

SEATTLE -- The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a Yakima-based fruit processor and national school supplier accused of repackaging moldy applesauce.

The FDA sent a warning letter to Snokist Growers on Oct. 20, informing the company it has yet to adopt safety measures to ensure its product is not contaminated.

The agency first identified problems at Snokist's facility during a June inspection, which followed a voluntary recall of some 3,310 cans of canned unsweetened applesauce due to mold.

The FDA identified eight instances in 2010 in which the fruit processor had taken moldy applesauce and apple puree from improperly-sealed laminate bags and canned them for human consumption. Snokist supplies its products to schools across the U.S., but it was not clear whether any of the spoiled products had been sent to schools.

Snokist was given 15 business days from the date of the letter to respond with a plan to address the identified issues.

In response to MSNBC, which first reported on the FDA's warning letter, Snokist posted a statement on its website that said, in part: "The amount of product in compromised aseptic packaging at the Snokist facility represents a very small amount of the apple tonnage processed over the course of time the totes were produced -- less than .3%."

Snokist also said to its knowledge, "No reworked product was ever used in product going to the USDA. This means it never went to schools or public food banks."