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For Immediate Release: February 3, 2010

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

United States Seizes more than 1,500 Cases of Food from Wisconsin Distribution Warehouse
FDA acts after inspections reveal filthy, rodent-infested facility

At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals on Tuesday seized a wide range of human and animal food products stored under insanitary conditions at Mid-States Closeouts, a distribution warehouse in Ellsworth, Wis. The products were seized under a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

U.S. Marshals seized all FDA-regulated human and animal food susceptible to rodent and pest contamination or other filth. The products are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) because they have been held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth.

During an FDA inspection of Mid-States Closeouts conducted in November and December 2009, the agency found widespread and active rodent infestation, numerous gnawed packages of human and animal food, rodent excreta pellets on, in, and around food packages and rodent nesting material. The facility also had structural defects permitting easy pest access to the entire facility, and rodent harborage areas near the warehouse.

"The violations at Mid-States Closeouts are widespread and significant,” said Michael Chappell, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner, Office of Regulatory Affairs. “The FDA took this action because the company failed to provide adequate safeguards to ensure that products they hold for sale remain free of contamination.”

The FDA has not received any reports of human or pet illness or death associated with consumption of food distributed by Mid-States Closeouts. However, the seized products were in permeable packages and held under conditions that could compromise the food’s quality.

Consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator. Contact information for coordinators is located at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators.


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