FDA Seizes more than $1M of Food from Nashville Food Processor

At the request of the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals have seized bulk restaurant food product at 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. 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, 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."

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, 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. 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.

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