All food processing ordered stopped at Penn Dutch Food Center in Hollywood


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Inspectors with the Florida Department of Agriculture have issued a stop use order for all areas of the Penn Dutch Food Center in Hollywood that is used for food production.

According to public records, inspectors issued the order on Wednesday.

The order was issued after listeria monocytogenes were found in products sampled from the facility.

Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes. 

The Department of Agriculture is waiting for the results of additional tests to determine the source.

An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die. 

The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older and people with weakened immune systems.

According to the latest food safety inspection report, a stop sale order was issued on more food products at Penn Dutch Wednesday, including: 

  • Packaged raw turkey
  • Packaged raw chicken
  • Packaged raw beef
  • Packaged raw pork slab
  • Packaged ground meat (beef and turkey)
  • Packaged raw fish
  • Raw seafood trays

The inspection reads: "All areas of the facility used for food production, including kitchen, smoke house, chill blaster, deli, deli slicing room, meat department, cutting room, bakery, cafe, seafood department, cryovac room and walk in cooler with product under stop sale have been placed under stop use due to presence of listeria monocytogenes in products sampled from facility."

Penn Dutch is located at 3950 N. 28th Terrace in Hollywood.

You can see it from Interstate 95, between Stirling Road and Sheridan Street when you are heading south.

As Local 10 News first reported on March 5, an inspector found water dripping from the ceiling and/or fans onto uncovered turkey drums, turkey breast loaves, ham hocks, neck bones, pig tails, pork parts, chorizo and sausage in a walk in chiller.

A "stop sale" was ordered on 1,500 pounds of meats on that date.

Reports also show that in February, 100 pounds of chicken salad was voluntarily destroyed because it was possibly contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, per lab results.

"Right now, there is a lot of unknowns going on. We are getting our product independently tested," Greg Salsberg, president of Penn Dutch Food Center, said. "Food safety is our No. 1 concern."

Salsberg said Penn Dutch has stopped selling its chicken salad.

"No one, thank goodness, got sick. We disposed of it and we are currently not selling it," he said.

"We are not perfect. We understand that," Salsberg added. "We are going to go above and beyond to do the right thing. We value our customers and we value the quality of food that we sell. Most importantly, we want it to be safe for everyone."

According to Dr. Matthew Curran, director of Food Safety for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 250 environmental samples have been taken from the Penn Dutch Food Center in Hollywood.

Curran said results will likely be coming in next week.

There have been no reports of anyone getting ill.

The issue was first discovered when inspectors took samples in February and found listeria in one of those samples. 

Several other meats have tested positive for the bacteria. 

While Penn Dutch is telling customers this is all voluntarily, Curran said it is not. 

The stop use on equipment and parts of the store, and stop sale on food is an order, Curran said.  

Penn Dutch remains open for business and has been open for 44 years.

A stop sale was also issued on meats at the Margate location, but it appears those meats were processed at the Hollywood facility.

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