U.S. Marshals seize adulterated food from a Minnesota warehouse
- For Immediate Release:
- June 20, 2017
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that on June 15, the U.S. Marshals Service seized food products held at Professional Warehouse and Distribution, Inc., in St. Paul, Minnesota. The food products seized are worth approximately $73,000 and include, among other things, barley flour, spices, pasta, dried beans, tea and cookies.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed the complaint on behalf of the FDA in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota alleging that the seized products are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
“The FDA plays a key role protecting public health and ensuring not only that food is properly manufactured and labeled, but that it is handled and stored correctly as well,” FDA’s Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Melinda K. Plaisier said. “The storage conditions in the warehouse were simply unacceptable, and the FDA took action to protect Americans.”
The FDA twice inspected the facility in 2015. In February 2015, the FDA found insanitary conditions that could cause the food product stored there to become adulterated. The company was inspected again in October 2015. The company had not implemented the corrective actions that it had promised following the earlier inspection, and the FDA identified additional adverse conditions at the warehouse. The company again promised to address these issues, but the FDA found additional problems during the latest inspection in 2017.
On May 26, 2017, the FDA administratively detained the food products held at the facility after witnessing widespread vermin activity during its most recent inspection, which was affecting the stored food. Under its administrative detention authority, the FDA can detain a food or dietary supplement product if the agency has reason to believe the product is adulterated or misbranded. The agency can keep detained products out of the marketplace for 20 days while it determines whether to take further enforcement action, such as seizure.
The products that the FDA administratively detained were then seized by the U.S. Marshals or embargoed by the state of Minnesota. To date, no illnesses have been associated with the food products held at Professional Warehouse and Distribution, Inc.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
FDA acts to prevent food distribution from an insanitary and filthy facility
- Peter Cassell