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FDA NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: January 6, 2010
 

Media Inquiries: Tom Gasparoli, 301-796-4737, thomas.gasparoli@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Seizes More Than $1 Million Worth of Food from Nashville Food Processor and Warehouse 
Agency acts to prevent distribution of food from rodent-infested facility

At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals today seized bulk restaurant food productat Won Feng Trading Company, a food processor and warehouse in Nashville, Tenn. The products are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they have been held under unsanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth. The Act uses the term "insanitary" to describe such conditions.

U.S. Marshals seized all FDA-regulated foods, including a wide variety of bulk restaurant foods, such as 44-pound bags of rice, fresh produce and frozen food products that are susceptible to contamination by rodents, insects, or other filth

The agency has not received any reports of consumer illnesses.

Won Feng receives food from throughout the United States and distributes its products within the state of Tennessee. The FDA estimates the value of the seized goods to be more than $1 million. U.S. Marshals executed this seizure pursuant to a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

"The violations at Won Feng Trading are both serious and repetitive,” said Michael Chappell, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take actions against any food companies that fail to provideadequate safeguards to ensure that products they produce or hold for sale remain free of contamination.”

The FDA had previously issued a Warning Letter to Won Feng in May 2009, citing numerous deviations from current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements, including ineffective measures taken by the firm to exclude pests. The firm stated in a June response to the FDA that it had corrected the violations cited in the Warning Letter.

In a follow-up inspection completed in November 2009, the FDA investigators found evidence of an active and widespread rodent infestation in the building, including live and dead rodents, rodent hair, rodent nesting material, evidence of rodent-gnawed food, and rodent urine. The FDA investigators also observed insect filth and live birds in the building, and found that the building had defects that could allow pests to enter food storage areas.

These unsanitary conditions and practices led to today’s seizure action.

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