Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have reached an agreement with a city-based food
warehouse and its proprietors that resolves allegations that the defendants held edibles in deplorable conditions.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently announced the consent decree entered into between the government and the New Rich City Trading Corporation over claims that the defendant housed perishables in a facility littered with animal feces and urine, as well as other contaminants.
The announcement was made on June 28, a month and a day after the office of U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger filed suit in federal court seeking to have the defendant cease operations.
The other defendants named in the civil action were New Rich City Trading Corp. President and owner Xiaoping Sun and its manager, Si Yan Chuen.
The lawsuit had alleged that the defendants housed food in unsanitary conditions in violation of the Food and Drug Cosmetic Act.
It cited inspection reports by investigators with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that unveiled the unsanitary conditions at the warehouse, which included so-called “filth” created by the presence of animals such as rodents, birds, cats and dogs, and their respective bodily waste.
The Food and Drug Cosmetic Act prohibits companies and individuals from causing food to become “adulterated” while held for sale after shipment of one or more of their components in interstate commerce, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The consent decree, which was recently signed off on by a federal judge, requires the defendants to immediately implement a sanitation control program developed by an expert, and which will be subject to FDA approval; recall and destroy all adulterated food; and undergo periodic audit inspections by an independent auditor who will report his or her findings to the FDA.
The agreement also prohibits the defendants from committing future violations of federal law.
If future violations are committed, the warehouse could face shutdown and/or monetary sanctions.
“This consent decree advances the Department of Justice’s and the FDA’s goal of ensuring the safety and integrity of our food supplies,” Memeger said in a statement. “We are pleased to have reached a resolution with the defendants that calls for prompt corrective measures, as well as the implementation of forward-looking procedures designed to ensure future compliance.”