A spill in a cooking supply warehouse at a Brooklyn apartment complex was cleaned up without harming anyone, but the cleanup effort may have taken a toll on the environment.
The cleanup operation at the Queens, New York apartment complex that houses some of the nation’s most famous kosher food products was supposed to begin Tuesday.
But after a week-long cleanup, it appears that some of those supplies were being left behind.
According to a report by The Associated Press, a kitchen supply box at the complex was missing a lid that is normally used to seal the contents of containers.
“The lid was missing.
We had to cut it off and re-lid it,” said Rabbi Michael Zivot, director of the Jewish Center at the University of North Carolina, who has lived in the complex for 17 years.
Zivot said the cleanup operation started on Wednesday and continued through Sunday, when he received a call from the Food and Drug Administration, which was trying to locate the box.
A message left with the FDA was not returned.
Zephyr Teachout, the director of community relations for the Food Safety and Standards Administration, confirmed the story to the AP on Sunday.
But she said the FDA did not know the cause of the leak and that she was not aware of any incidents involving contaminated food.
“We are currently looking into the circumstances,” she said.
The food safety watchdog, the National Academy of Sciences, called the lack of a lid “extremely unusual.”
In a statement to ABC News, the NAS said, “the food supply warehouse in question is owned by the Department of Agriculture, which does not have the authority to dispose of food without a permit from the agency.
We are unable to comment on whether this incident occurred there or elsewhere.”
It said it was working with the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Administration to find out what happened.
“While the Food & Drug Administration can take any action it deems necessary to prevent a potential hazard, the Food safety and FDA are focused on preventing foodborne illness and disease, and this incident appears to be a clear example of food safety failures,” the statement said.ABC News’ John Bresnahan contributed to this report.