Mold in Boise Darigold plant didn't affect milk, state and company say

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comMay 6, 2014 

The Darigold milk-processing plant at 618 Allumbaugh St. in Boise was closed briefly May 1 and 2 after a state inspector found mold. The state and Darigold say no milk was affected.


A Darigold milk processing plant in Boise was shut down for 30 hours last week after a state inspection last week found mold.

The plant was decertified Thursday, May 1, meaning it could accept no milk in and couldn't ship out, according to Dr. Bill Barton, administrator for the state Department of Agriculture's Division of Animal Industries. The Dairy Bureau is part of that division.

The plant was closed part of Thursday and all of Friday while it was thoroughly cleaned, Barton said.

"It's very rare that we have to degrade or delist a processing plant. I can't remember the last time," Barton said. He's been state veterinarian and administrator for animal industries for seven years.

The mold didn't affect the milk, the company and Barton say.

"No food or surfaces that might come in contact with food were involved," Steve Rowe, senior VP of corporate affairs, told the Idaho Statesman. "We closed and cleaned the plant and we were up and running again in 30 hours. Everything went exactly the way it was supposed to."

Barton said, "We are confident that the product was not affected."

Ventilation issues had created the temperature and humidity conditions conducive to mold growth, Barton said. The same inspector who found the mold went back to check the plant before it re-opened.

Barton said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Pasteurized Milk Ordinance requires unannounced quarterly inspections of milk plants. Additionally, a more intensive inspection is done every two years.

The inspection done last week was one of more rigorous biennial inspections.

Also, federal regulations require random product testing four times in six months. Barton said product testing is done monthly in Idaho.

The closure was first reported by KTVB (Channel 7).

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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