October 1, 2016

Consent Decree Shuts Down Kwong Tung Foods

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota has entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Kwong Tung Foods Inc., doing business as Canton Foods to prevent the distribution of adulterated noodles and sprouts. The complaint was filed on July 14, 2016 at the request of the FDA.

Gavel on Bench

The complaint alleges that Kwong Tung Foods violated the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by preparing, packing, and/or holding noodles and sprouts under insanitary conditions so the food may have been contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health. The facility, according to the complaint, failed to exclude pests and rodents, failed to maintain equipment, and failed to ensure adequate employee sanitation.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division said, “Kwong Tung Foods was repeatedly warned about the insanitary conditions at its Minneapolis food facility. The Department of Justice will continue to work aggressively to protect consumers from adulterated food and enforce our nation’s food safety laws.”

The defendants are also bound by a permanent injunction, representing that they have “ceased receiving, preparing, processing, packing, holding, or distributing any type of food at or from any location.” If the company wants to sell food again, they must take certain steps to improve and then get written approval from the FDA.

The FDA inspected the facility at 1840 E. 38th Street in Minneapolis in October 2015. FDA inspectors observed evidence of live and dead pests and rodents in production rooms, a black mold-like substance and debris on production equipment, potential cross-contamination with major allergens, condensate dripping onto finished bean sprouts, and inadequate employee sanitation practices. The facility was also inspected twice in 2014 and inspectors observed the same violations. Food processors are required by law to comply with current good manufacturing practices as stipulated under FDA regulations.

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