(From an FDA Press Release) At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals seized food products held at the food storage and processing facility (grains and flour) of Dominguez Foods of Washington, Inc., in Zillah, Wash., on Sept. 30, 2011.

The seized products had been subject to a detention order issued by FDA on Sept. 2, 2011, following an FDA inspection of the facility that found evidence of widespread and active rodent and insect infestation in the facility’s warehouse and processing area.

In a complaint filed Sept. 29, 2011, the United States alleged that the detained food was adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) due to the conditions in the warehouse documented during FDA’s inspection. The complaint asked the Court to issue a warrant of arrest for the products, which directed the U.S. Marshals to seize the products, and requested that the Court condemn and forfeit the food to the United States. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington issued a warrant of arrest for the products the same day.

The action represents the first seizure of food subject to an FDA detention order. Pursuant to the FFDCA, as amended by the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, FDA may order the detention of food found during an inspection when the investigator has reason to believe that such food is adulterated or misbranded. Food subject to an FDA detention order may not be transferred from the place at which it is detained until it is released by FDA or the detention order expires. A detention order may remain in place for up to 30 days to allow FDA to take appropriate action under the FFDCA, such as seizure.

“FDA will not hesitate to take immediate steps to protect the public’s health,” said Dara A. Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “We will aggressively use our enforcement tools to prevent adulterated food from reaching the public.”

During their inspection of the Dominguez Foods facility, FDA investigators observed rodent droppings and urine stains on and around food products, rodent gnawed containers of food, a rodent nesting site, and one dead rodent in the warehouse, as well as live and dead insects in, on, and around food products. The investigators took immediate action, issuing a detention order covering all of the food in the facility not in hermetically sealed containers at the end of their inspection.

  • Joh

    Naw, deregulation is THE ULTIMATE answer to all our food safety issues. Just like deregulation of the banking and investment industry, which has produced the vibrant economy America now enjoys, as well as safe havens for investments in our bull market. John Munsell

  • Domenic

    Well, duhhh! As a retired EHO in Canada (36 years) we often detained and/or ordered destruction of rodent infested food products – without a court order or warrant. For the FDA this is “newsworthy”?!

  • umm

    Gross and Super Gross! What is happening to the owners of these facilities? The animal infestations should also be dealt a death sentence immediately! In fact, just burn the whole place down. But, be careful. I don’ t want those things to somehow make their way in my area. I hope and pray that this issue will be dealt with quickly and thoroughly.

  • I am sure that free market would have taken care of this situation without FDA intervention. Someone would have taken a black light (UV) to examine the products before they bought them or after they brought them home and seen the urine stains on the product.
    What are a few rat dropping between friends.
    Ron Paul is right; just let the free market handle it.
    In a free market other companies would learn they didn’t need a sanitation program and all warehouses would be like this.
    Just imagine how much money they would save which they would be happy to pass on to consumers. Oh what a happy world it would be without regulation, just letting people do as they please.
    This just proves we don’t need a government agency.
    Imagine what airplane maintenance would be like. Of course after eating this food, you might not care if your plane fell out of the air.
    Everyone sleep well knowing with the budget cuts coming more warehouses like this one will not be found and your next meal maybe coming from there. Do you have a black light at home? How about your “@ home Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli test kit ®”.