Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Marshals Raid Rat-Infested Food Warehouse

U.S. Marshals executed a federal court order to seize packaged food products by raiding a rat-infested old seed warehouse in Athens, GA that was being used by Mid-States Services Inc. to store food sold to jails and prisons last week.

The Marshals collected about 1,500 cases of crackers, cookies, potato chips, and cereals valued at $859,000 under a warrant for seizure issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Georgia Department of Agriculture asked the federal court for the warrant after a joint investigation found the Mid-States Services Inc. was operating without a license and the old seed warehouse was infested with rats.

GDA placed all food in the warehouse on a stop sale order on July 15.   Mid-States destroyed some of the infested food, but the company did not respond to violations documented in a July 14-21 inspection by FDA.

That inspection found “widespread active rodent infestation both inside and outside the facility,” including 14 live rodents, seven dead rodents, rodent nests, gnawed food packages, and rodent droppings “too numerous to count.”

“FDA laboratory analyses of samples collected during the inspection confirmed the presence of rodent excreta pellets in food articles, on containers of food articles, rodent-gnawed holes in bags, and a rodent urine stain on a food container,” court documents say.

“The FDA took this action because the company failed to provide adequate safeguards to ensure that the products they produce or hold for sale remain free of contamination,” said Michael A. Chappell, acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.

Chappell said quick action by FDA and Georgia agriculture officials prevented contaminated food from reaching jail or prison inmates.

“As soon as we heard about this unlicensed warehouse and the condition under which food was held, we took action with FDA, said Tommy Irvin, Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture. “We used our authority under the Georgia Food Act to immediately stop the sale and movement of food from the warehouse.  We also promptly alerted the facilities in Georgia that had received food from this warehouse.”

The local Clarke County Jail and Correctional Institute did not purchase any food from Mid-States.  FDA said the company made sales to jails and prisons throughout the southeastern United States.

© Food Safety News
  • So let me get this straight ,a rat infested warehouse storing and shipping products to prisons gets all its products seized by the FDA..But a prison industry producing meat products using ingrediants from its own rat infested warehouse and shipping almost 19 million pounds of meat products nationwide to schools,supermarkets ,hospitals ,federal and state institutions gets a pass and cover-up and when exposed there is no recall. Don’t believe it go to this link and see the pictures and efforts to make the public aware of this issue.