USDA food safety quarterly report involves three criminal cases

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The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s quarterly enforcement report for the period ending June 30 features three successful prosecutions. The April to June period is the federal fiscal year’s third quarter, which ends Sept. 30.

Linda Chen Mai of the Trinh Co., in San Jose, Calif., was sentenced in June for two felonies and two misdemeanors involving violations of the Federal Meat Inspection Act. She was sentenced to 90 days in a community confinement facility, three years probation and she must pay a $250 special assessment fee. She was found guilty in March, according to an article by Food Safety News.

Food Safety and Inspection Service reported that Jorge Ortega, owner of Jorge’s Farm in Citrus Park, Fla., entered a guilty plea in May to three counts of selling adulterated and misbranded meat food products in commerce, selling meat in commerce without inspection and violating the humane method of slaughter act. His sentencing date has not yet been set.

The last case involves Edward Marstolf, owner of Petit Jean Farm in Morrilton, Ark. He spent the quarter waiting for sentencing on two felony counts of forging and applying counterfeit marks of federal inspection and for selling and transporting misbranded meat products, according to Food Safety New’s article.

No major civil actions, which involve seizures and inductive actions, took place during the quarter.

A USDA administrative law judge issued a final decision and order permanently withdrawing federal meat inspection services from Nebraska’s Finest Meats, Randolph, Neb. The company is owned by Paul and Kelly Rosberg, both of whom were previously successfully prosecuted for selling meat without inspection to the Omaha Public Schools.

FSIS filed a complaint to withdraw federal meat inspectors from Hot Springs Packing Co., in Hot Spring, Ark. The company failed to maintain its facility, which repeatedly tests positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The USDA also initiated administrative actions against 83 of the meat, poultry and eggs plants under its jurisdiction during the period. The also closed actions in another 84 cases. The USDA sent four notices of “probated activity” to small retailers, as well.

FSIS reported a decline in total livestock carcasses inspected, which was down by about 1 million head from the last quarter a just over 34 million head. The service also detained 434,273 pounds of meat and poultry products from 75 establishments, which is about 4 times more than in the previous quarter, according to Food Safety News.



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