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FDA: U.S. Marshals Seize Food at Rodent-Infested Facility

Wed, 04/17/2013 - 12:17pm

SILVER SPRING, M.D. (FDA) — U.S. Marshals have seized food products at a Ridgewood, N.Y. warehouse that manufactures and distributes kosher food products, after investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found widespread rodent infestation in the facility.

The FDA initiated the seizure of various food products in the manufacturing facility and warehouse operated by V.I.P. Foods Inc., on April 12, 2013, under a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

During an inspection in late February 2013, FDA investigators found unsanitary conditions throughout the facility in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The conditions included live rodents, a dead, desiccated rodent, and what appeared to be rodent tracks, rodent gnaw holes, and rodent excreta pellets in or near food products.

“V.I.P. Foods housed various dried mixes and bases, such as chicken soup base, blueberry muffin mix and bread crumbs; and the conditions inside this warehouse were just deplorable,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “We will continue to take aggressive action to protect public health.”

Some of V.I.P. Foods products are distributed under the name VIP Foods Inc., VIP, V.I.P., or KoJel, but V.I.P. Foods distributes other products under private label.

To date, no illnesses have been associated with V.I.P. Foods products. Illnesses or adverse events related to use of these products should be reported to the FDA at caers@fda.hhs.gov or by calling 240-402-2405.

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 and animals 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.

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