Inspection report shows violations that led to closing of Springfield dairy

An inspection report released by the Ohio Department of Agriculture highlighted violations at a Springfield dairy facility that was temporarily ordered to close earlier this week.

State officials required Springfield's Reiter Dairy to shut down operations temporarily Monday morning after a recent inspection revealed sanitation issues that had not been resolved from a prior visit. The site has since reopened, and state officials previously told the News-Sun the issues found at the facility did not present any health concerns for consumers.

The dairy, at 1961 Commerce Circle, closed shortly after 12 a.m. Monday and resumed operations around noon the same day.

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The report, released late Wednesday, notes additional attention at the facility needed to be directed to cleanliness of the facility, as well as peeling paint on the walls and other issues.

Company officials at Reiter did not return calls seeking comment.

“Items violated on the last inspection dated Sept. 13, 2018 were still in violation for this rating,” the report states.

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The inspection pointed to violations that included peeling paint in the facility and a door in a cooler that had a bad seal. The inspection said the seal should be replaced.

It also cited cleanliness at the plant, including dirty equipment in the facility. It noted “trench drains” at the facility were full and needed cleaning and noted a trash compactor area was dirty with accumulated debris and needed to be removed.

It also said brown water was found on the floor in a cooler and needed to be removed and a “case room” at the facility needed to be cleaned. It also said a restroom for milk truck drivers needed to be cleaned.

In the main cooler, a reclaim areas was “very dirty,” according to the inspection. It cited a heavy accumulation of trash and debris under the tank.

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Ashley McDonald, a spokeswoman for the ODA, told this newspaper inspectors had visited the dairy production facility in September and raised issues related to the cleanliness of the facility and drainage issues in a milk receiving area. Those issues were not resolved when inspectors returned to the site for a separate inspection this month, so state inspectors ordered the site to temporarily shut down operations until the issues were resolved.

McDonald said it’s unlikely the company will face any further penalties in addition to the mandatory shutdown as long as the issues are resolved. Company officials were cooperative Monday, she said.

According to its website, Reiter was founded in Akron in 1933. The company acquired more than 20 dairies across northern Ohio in the 1950s and 1960s and eventually expanded into producing refrigerated and frozen food products.

The company expanded to southern Ohio when it acquired a milk plant and distribution center in Springfield.

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