FDA: Pardon Me, But Your Bakery Warehouse Is Full Of "Rodent Excreta Pellets"

We’d never stopped to think about it before, but we were not surprised to learn that our government had a polite term for rodent feces. It’s “rodent excreta pellet,” and apparently a warehouse belonging to Capitol Cake, a Baltimore bakery specializing in fruitcake and pound cake, is full of them.

From the WSJ Health Blog:

The FDA’s recently released letter to Capitol Cake President John Kunkel said agency inspectors found ample evidence of a lack of pest control, including:

[L]ive rodents observed along side a rodent trap, running under pallets containing finished food products and collapsed boxes used by your firm, and a live rodent that you brushed off of your shoulder onto the floor, and then kicked under a pallet holding finished food products

Some other signs of trouble were a bird flying around inside the warehouse, dead rodents on a rack with finished baked goods and “rodent excreta pellets” (REPs to FDA) that seemed to be all over the place.

We called Kunkel at Capitol Cake, and he told us the FDA letter made the situation sound worse than it was. “A mouse did run out over my foot. He didn’t jump off my shoulder,” he said. As for the bird, it “flew in and then out in five minutes,” he said. That wouldn’t usually happen, but “the front garage was open only because we were doing the cleaning” to remedy the rodent situation.

You know, we’re going to go ahead and say that we don’t care whether the mouse was the dude’s shoulder or his foot. Ya know? Anyway, if you enjoy gross things, you can read the FDA’s letter here.

Capitol Cake says the pest issues have been taken care of.

Pay No Attention to the Mice Behind the Pallets
[Wall Street Journal Health Blog]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Jabronimus says:

    Well. I never heard of that company before, but now I see I had no reason to.

  2. Nick1693 says:

    Anyone else see the fact that the FDA calls “Rodent Excreta Pellets ” REPs…

  3. badhatharry says:

    That’s my new dig. From now on, Ann Coulter is full of excreta pellets.

  4. rpm773 says:

    Reminds me of a story of how when we lived in the Chicago area when I was growing up my father loved the rye bread from the Baltic Bakery. In fact, once my folks moved to Boston and I lived in Chicago on my own, I’d occasionally send him a care package of a few loaves of it. He really enjoyed it.

    A couple of years ago, the Sun-Times ran an expose on some of the filthiest food-related companies in the city (restaurants, bakeries, etc). My Baltic Bakery was in the top 10 for all sorts of bad things.

  5. katylostherart says:

    i think “rat shit” has a better ring to it personally.

  6. katylostherart says:

    @rpm773: you mean the jungle by upton sinclair?

  7. DrGirlfriend says:

    You mean those weren’t raisins in the fruitcake?

  8. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @DrGirlfriend: It would make the raisin bread more economical, all they have to do is change the ingredient listing.

  9. marsneedsrabbits says:

    That’s my new dig. From now on, Ann Coulter is full of excreta pellets.

    Don’t make fun of Ann Coulter. I’m sure he has a hard time being one of the only tranny conservative pundits.

    Also, the Flaming REPS would be a great band name.

  10. alice_bunnie says:

    It’s a caper.

    /and if anyone gets what movie that’s from I’ll be very surprised. :p My brother and I used to snicker about that line when we were kids.

  11. @katylostherart: Close, that was specifically the meat-packing industry, and around the turn of the last century. Mmmm..rat excretia and heavily oxidised metal sausages with real cellulose filler!.

  12. yagisencho says:

    We discovered a minor REP problem under our dishwashing machine last month. The tip-off was a kitchen full of dirty dishwater that had escaped from a freshly-chewed-upon outlet hose.

    I remedied the problem with a nummy poison pellet offering in our home’s crawlspace.

  13. god_forbids says:

    @rpm773: Yeah. I frequent some Chinese hole in the wall kine places here in Honolulu that I’m sure violate the whole damn health code, but jeez are they cheap! And sooooooo good!!! I almost don’t care what crawled on it before it went into the wok. Almost.

  14. god_forbids says:

    @alice_bunnie: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” for $200 please, Alice. :)

  15. MercuryPDX says:

    @katylostherart: Seconded… or if that’s considered too vulgar, “Poo Pellets”.

    @god_forbids: So long as it doesn’t get stuck IN the wok and become the “House Special Lo Mein”.


  16. badhatharry says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: You win.

    @alice_bunnie: If it’s a caper, then eat it.

  17. Unfortunately, several well known bakeries were exposed via news videos here in midtown Manhattan for the same things.

    It is more common than most consumers realize

  18. TheRealAbsurdist says:

    Hey, c’mon. We’re talking about fruitcake here. Given some of the unidentifiable fruit-like substances that are in there, could anyone really tell the difference?

  19. Ragman says:

    What, you mean that WASN’T supposed to be in fruitcake???

  20. chartrule says:

    that’s sickening – they should of been shut down immediately

  21. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: Can we at least credit Dave Barry for the ‘great band name’ quip?
    Although I might have heard the Flaming REPs one night in Memphis…

  22. gibbergabber says:

    I guess Shirley Jean won’t be going into space anymore.

  23. bobhope2112 says:

    Am I the only one that visualizes Kunkel as Irwin Mainway?

  24. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    Mmmmmm, jimmies.

  25. mrearly2 says:

    I’m sure the bakery’s products are less nutritious than mouse shit, anyway, so don’t worry about contamination. Highly-refined foods have no nutrition.

  26. Nick_Bentley says:

    If you’re going to all get into “I don’t want rat shit in my food” thing then just get over it already. Baked items and rats go back hundreds of years, and if some rat poop in your cakes or snacks freaks you out, then the problem is yours. Rats like baked goods just as much as you do, and are you going to deny them the right to cookies and cupcakes to feed their little rat-babies and rat-brethren? I thought not.
    Do you really think navigating a giant warehouse is like being in a safe Habitrail with a salt lick and food pellets? No, it is not. Yes rats carry diseases, but is that a price you’re willing to risk to eat Capitol Cake baked goods? I thought not. So stop being hysterical and just take one for the team when you get a rat-based baked good.