FDA NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Aug. 7, 2009
Media Inquiries: Stephanie Kwisnek, 301-796-4737, firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
FDA: Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Other Products Seized at Louisiana Company
Rodent-infested conditions, violations of the seafood HACCP regulation prompt action
At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals today seized tuna salad sandwiches and other food products from Bearden Sandwich Company Inc., doing business as Southern Belle Sandwich Company, in Baton Rouge, La.
The seized products, totaling more than $72,000, violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because the products have been prepared, packed, and held under unsanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to the public’s health (the Act uses the term "insanitary" to describe such conditions). In addition, the tuna fish salad sandwiches were processed under conditions that violate Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.
“When FDA investigators find violations inside a company’s facility, we will do what is necessary to keep insanitary and potentially harmful products out of consumers’ hands,” said Michael Chappell, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “Companies that are not complying with our laws will be subject to enforcement actions.”
Recent FDA inspections found evidence of widespread and active rodent and insect infestation, filthy conditions, and poor employee practices, such as allowing food-processing utensils to lie on the floor near live insects.
The company distributes products to convenience and retail stores in southern Louisiana; Mobile, Ala.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Crestview, Fla.
The FDA has not received reports of illnesses associated with consumption of the products. The FDA urges consumers who may have purchased the products to dispose of them in a safe manner and wash their hands thoroughly after handling the products. “Safe disposal” means avoiding bare-hand contact with the recalled products, discarding them in a way that will not allow people and pets to retrieve them, and washing items that came in contact with the products, including hands, with warm, soapy water.
Consumers can also report problems, including adverse reactions, to the FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator.