Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Stop California Company From Making and Selling Adulterated, Mislabeled Food Products | Takeover bid
The United States has filed a lawsuit to restrain an Antioch, California food manufacturer from manufacturing and selling adulterated and mislabeled noodle products, the Justice Department announced today.
In a civil complaint for permanent injunction filed on October 12, the United States alleges that Cuong T. Do, through his company, Cali Rice Valley Inc., violated the Federal Food, Drug and cosmetics (FDCA) by not respecting preventive measures. controls requirements and ensures that uncooked, ready-to-eat wheat and rice noodles become adulterated or mislabelled.
“Food manufacturers must ensure the safety of their products,” said Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to work closely with the FDA and take action against food manufacturers who operate under unsanitary conditions.”
“The FDA plays a vital role in safeguarding America’s food supply and helping to ensure that our food is free from contamination before it reaches consumers,” said Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D. “We take our responsibility seriously and will continue to protect consumers by taking action against those who threaten the safety and quality of the products we regulate.”
The complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that FDA investigators visited Do’s Cali Rice Valley facilities in 2021 and 2022 and found unsanitary conditions, such as insects on ingredients, ingredient bags with holes, rainwater leaks. in ingredient storage rooms, utensils and equipment that have not been sanitized, and poor employee practices. The complaint alleges that such conditions can create an ideal environment for the growth of harmful bacteria. The complaint also alleges that FDA inspections identified violations of preventive control requirements intended to provide assurance that significant food safety hazards will be controlled and that foods produced by the facility will not be adulterated or misrepresented. labeled.
The complaint further alleges that testing of environmental samples taken from Do’s facilities detected the bacteria. Listeria innocua (L. innocua) in and around food preparation areas. According to the complaint, the presence of L. innocua indicates environmental conditions that might also favor the growth of the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono). Foods contaminated with L.mono may cause symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting in healthy adults. For vulnerable consumers – including pregnant women, the elderly and the immunocompromised – L.mono can cause more serious effects, such as stillbirths, miscarriages and death.
The complaint also alleges that the company’s products are mislabeled because they do not declare the presence of wheat and egg allergens, among other violations.
According to the complaint, Do sells its noodles throughout the Bay Area. The government’s lawsuit seeks an injunction that would require Do and Cali Rice Valley to make sanitary improvements and comply with federal food safety requirements before manufacturing or distributing other noodle products.
Trial Attorney David Crockett of the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch is handling the case with assistance from Senior Counsel Claudia Zuckerman of the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel. .
The assertions made in the complaint are allegations that if the case were to go to trial, the government must prove by a preponderance of the evidence.
Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts can be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch.