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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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Municipally Managed Properties Used for Storage

Subject:
Municipally Managed Properties Used for Storage and/or Sale of Foods
Area:
Program Management
Date Revised:
February, 28 1988

 

 

PURPOSE

To provide guidance to the field regarding municipally managed property used for storage and/or sale of food products.

BACKGROUND

Historically, FDA has looked to state and local regulatory officials to maintain surveillance over sanitary conditions of foods stored or sold in properties managed by municipalities. Such properties include but are not limited to buildings, docks, and market places.

In 1974, Atlanta District received a complaint from a lessee of a food stall in the Atlanta City Market alleging heavy rodent traffic and other unsanitary health conditions in the building. These conditions were verified and brought to the attention of state and local regulatory officials. When notification failed to result in appropriate corrective action, Atlanta District had no recourse other than to recommend injunction which was approved by FDA headquarters and forwarded by the General Counsel to the U.S. Attorney.

This action resulted in a court order to the city of Atlanta to move promptly to eliminate the rodent population and to correct building defects. Copies of the government's allegations and resultant court were distributed to FDA field offices.

POSITION

Danger to health situations involving products subject to the laws enforced by FDA are of concern to the Agency regardless of where such situations exist. FDA field offices will, as the opportunity permits, include in their food surveillance activities city markets and dock food storage areas managed by municipalities to assure that these as well as traditional food storage places are operated in a manner that does not pose a threat to public health. Such inspections of city markets and municipally managed docks will be made jointly with city and, whenever possible, state regulatory officials whether inspection is routine or as a result of a complaint. Whenever gross unsanitary conditions are found, the responsible FDA district office will make every attempt to ensure compliance through voluntary cooperation of local and state regulatory officials. In those instances where such attempts fail, FDA field offices will recommend appropriate regulatory action to bring about correction of the offending conditions.