According to AP, a Miami couple and their company face federal charges of importing cheese and other dairy products into the U.S. that were contaminated with Salmonella and other bacteria.

jail.JPGFederal prosecutors say 41-year-old Yuri Izurieta and 46-year-old Anneri Izurieta are charged with smuggling and conspiracy. Their company Naver Trading Corp. was also charged.

An indictment says the couple knew they couldn’t sell dairy products under a Food and Drug Administration probe was completed, but did so anyway. Prosecutors say they knowingly sold cheese contaminated with E. coli, Salmonella and other harmful bacteria.  There’s no indication anyone was sickened.

An attorney for the couple says Anneri Izurieta has pleaded not guilty, but her husband has not yet entered a plea. 

Chapter III of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act addresses prohibited acts, subjecting violators to both civil and criminal liability. Provisions for criminal sanctions are clear:

Felony violations include adulterating or misbranding a food, drug, or device, and putting an adulterated or misbranded food, drug, or device into interstate commerce. Any person who commits a prohibited act violates the FDCA. A person committing a prohibited act “with the intent to defraud or mislead” is guilty of a felony punishable by not more than three years or fined not more than $10,000 or both.

My guess is if they face jail time they will not be staying at the hotel I am in here in Istanbul.  It was renovated from a notorious jail into a 5 Star Hotel.  See incription from an inmate in photo above.