U.S. Marshals today seized packaged food products from a rodent-infested warehouse in Athens, Ga.
A variety of products, including crackers, cookies and potato chips, were intended for sale to jails and prisons throughout the southeastern United States, the feds said. The food was valued at $859,000.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia issued a warrant for the seizure of all of the food in the warehouse from Mid-States Services Inc., that the FDA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) determined to be susceptible to contamination by rodents.
The government’s complaint alleges that the products are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they have been held under insanitary conditions, whereby they may have become contaminated with filth.
The two agencies investigated the Mid-States Services facility from July 14 through July 21 and found “widespread active rodent infestation both inside and outside the facility” according to the government’s complaint.
Investigators found 14 live rodents, seven dead rodents, 23 gnaw holes on multiple food containers, multiple containers of food containing rodent pellets, four rodent nests, and apparent rodent pellets too numerous to count, on and around food packages, as well as finding structural defects making the facilities accessible to rodents.