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February 17, 2006

Media Inquiries:
Cathy McDermott, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:


U.S. Marshals Seize Food Items from DC Company

At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a warrant on February 17, 2006, to seize various foods at Happy Valley Food, Inc., located in the District of Columbia. The seizure action was initiated by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and FDA after FDA found extensive evidence of rodent infestation, rodent-defiled food, overcrowded storage conditions, and harborage areas for various pests throughout the firm’s warehouse facility during a recent inspection. The FDA inspection was conducted upon notification of insanitary conditions at the firm by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and with the cooperation and assistance of the District of Columbia’s Department of Health.

The U.S. Marshals seized all FDA-regulated food susceptible to rodent and pest contamination. The seized products violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they were held under insanitary conditions. Happy Valley Food, Inc. warehouses food and paper items for the restaurant industry including rice, Japanese bread crumbs, flour, corn starch, dried mushrooms, soy sauce, duck sauce, dried beans, and spices.

FDA previously brought a seizure action against Happy Valley Food, Inc. in 1996 and issued a Warning Letter outlining unacceptable storage conditions in 2001. The agency also conducted inspections in 2003, 2005, and 2006. Despite these previous actions, the company has failed to adequately correct the violations.

The FDA has initiated this action to promote and protect the public health by enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. FDA’s mission includes ensuring the safety or safety and effectiveness of a broad spectrum of regulated products, including food, human and animal drugs, vaccines, blood products, medical devices, electronic products that emit radiation, and cosmetics.


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