VDACS clears Farmer Joe’s

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A local market whose prepared foods counter had come under scrutiny by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was found to be in compliance with food safety regulations during a follow-up visit on Monday.

Farmer Joe’s market had been notified following an April inspection that the batter it used for its fried crabs was being held under improper conditions, according to a May 13 letter to owner Hoon Kim from the VDACS Office of Food Inspection.

“Everything is fine,” Kim said Tuesday.

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A VDACS food safety inspector noted in his report Monday that temperature of the crab batter in the processing area is now being kept at 41 degrees or less.

VDACS visited Farmer Joe’s in April, after a customer complained — without having sought medical attention or corroboration — that she and members of her family had become sick after eating fried crabs from the store. Another customer had complained about alleged unsanitary conditions.

The food prep area was temporarily closed while various issues were addressed, but it was reopened on April 21, the date of the inspection that resulted in the warning letter about the batter.

The rest of the store remained open during the period, Kim said Monday.