New York, New York — A new federal watchdog report released Friday slammed giant food maker Panera Bread for failing to adequately train workers on proper handling of live insects and for failing a state inspection in response to safety concerns.
The report, prepared by the Center for Food Safety, was released in response, in part, to the company’s decision in August to suspend production of its Panera Oats frozen meals and ban the use of live bugs in the products.
The company had said that after conducting a safety review, the company concluded that the product did not pose an immediate threat to humans.
Panera, however, issued a statement on Sept. 14 saying the company had conducted the review to determine whether there was a risk to humans from handling live insects.
“The Panera Food Group will continue to work closely with the Food Safety and Inspection Service and other federal and state agencies to improve its safety record,” the statement said.
“The Paneras current Food Safety Program provides employees with the necessary training to safely handle live insects on a daily basis.”
The company has said it will continue its production of the Panera oatmeal and Panera breads, which are among the nation’s best-selling breakfast cereals.
Panera has been a top producer of food in the United States, with about 40 percent of its total sales coming from its cereal and breakfast products.
Its products include bread, bread mixes, cookies, muffins, toast, oatmeal, breakfast rolls and muffins.
Paneras top-selling products are made by Nestlé in the U.S. and Kellogg in the world.