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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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Olympic Grocery & Deli 7/24/14

  

Department of Health and Human Services logoDepartment of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
 
Center for Tobacco Products
Building 71, Room G335
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002 

 

WARNING LETTER
 July 24, 2014
VIA UPS
 
Olympic Grocery & Deli
Attn: Site Manager
6601 South Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98409
 
Re: FDA Warning Letter Regarding Tobacco Retailer Inspection Violation
       Reference Number: 14WA007529
 
Dear Sir or Madam:
 
This Warning Letter is notification from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advising you that Olympic Grocery & Deli was observed to be in violation of federal tobacco laws and regulations. Failure to correct these violations may lead to federal enforcement actions, including monetary penalties. Your response is requested in 15 working days.
 
On June 02, 2014, an inspector representing the FDA completed an inspection of the establishment, located at 6601 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409. During this inspection the establishment was in violation because it has a self-service display of smokeless tobacco in a facility not restricted to adults at all times.    
 
This inspection revealed that the establishment sells, distributes, advertises, and/or promotes cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and/or smokeless tobacco, which requires that the establishment and its owners comply with federal laws and regulations governing such practices. The violation observed during the June 02, 2014, inspection includes the following:
 
1. The establishment has a self-service display or an “impersonal” mode of sale that provides a consumer direct access to smokeless tobacco without restricting the facility to adults at all times.  Specifically, the inspector observed a display of Skoal brand smokeless tobacco located on the counter in an area that is open to customers.
 
A retailer MUST sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and/or smokeless tobacco only in a direct, face-to-face exchange between the retailer and the consumer and cannot use a self-service display unless a retailer ensures that minors are neither present nor permitted to enter at any time. Failure to do so violates 21 C.F.R. § 1140.16(c).
 
The establishment fails to ensure that minors are neither present nor permitted to enter at any time as the establishment is open to the general public during business hours. Therefore, the establishment is not restricted. It is your responsibility to ensure that no person younger than 18 years of age is present or permitted to enter the establishment at any time, or to ensure that all cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and/or smokeless tobacco products are only sold in a direct, face-to-face exchange.
 
The listed violation causes your smokeless tobacco to be “misbranded” under 903 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c).
 
You should immediately correct the violation listed above. Failure to correct the violation may result in FDA taking regulatory action without further notice. These actions may include, but are not limited to, civil money penalty, no-tobacco-sale order, seizure, and/or injunction.
 
The violation indicated in this letter may not be a complete list of violations at the establishment.
 
Previously, on August 30, 2012, CTP issued a Warning Letter to Olympic Grocery & Deli for a violation observed on May 3, 2012. During that inspection the establishment was in violation because it offered flavored cigarettes for sale. You are receiving another Warning Letter because the violation observed during your most recent inspection occurred outside the statutory period for FDA to seek a CMP at this time. Please be advised that additional violations observed during any subsequent inspection may lead to a CMP, according to the schedule provided below, no-tobacco-sale order, seizure, and/or injunction.
 
The CMP schedule is as follows:
 

Number of Violations
Civil Money Penalty
First
$0.00 w/ warning letter
Second within a 12 month period
$250
Third within a 24 month period
$500
Fourth within a 24 month period
$2,000
Fifth within a 36 month period
$5,000
Sixth within a 48 month period
$10,000

 
See 21 C.F.R. § 17.2; Guidance for FDA and Tobacco Retailers, Civil Money Penalties and No-Tobacco-Sale Orders for Tobacco Retailers, September 2013 (available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/UCM252955.pdf).
 
We will periodically inspect your establishment and review your promotional activities (e.g., website{s}) related to FDA-regulated tobacco products to assess your compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including access, marketing, labeling, and advertising restrictions. For more information on these requirements, helpful resources for retailers, a database of inspections, and free Break the Chain of Tobacco Addiction materials, visit our website at http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts. Specifically, Guidance for Industry: Compliance with Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents provides additional information on compliance with retailer responsibilities http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm252758.htm.
 
You have 15 working days from the date you receive this letter to respond. In your response, explain your plan for correcting the listed violation and preventing future violations. Include a telephone number and address. Note your reference number of 14WA007529 in your response and mail it to:
 
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Tobacco Products
Document Control Center
Building 71, Room G335
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD  20993-0002
 
If you have any questions, contact the Center for Tobacco Products at 1-877-CTP-1373, option 6, or via email at CTP-Compliance-WL-Correspondence@fda.hhs.gov. Have your reference number ready when you call and include it with any email communications.
 
 
Sincerely,
 /s/ 
Ann Simoneau, J.D.
Director
Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Center for Tobacco Products
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