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Rodent Infestation at NY Warehouse Prompts Raid

A Ridgewood, NY warehouse used to both manufacture and distribute kosher food products was the target of a raid by U.S. Marshals on April 12.

The Marshals raided the facility after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found widespread rodent infestation in the warehouse.

The FDA initiated the seizure of various food products at the warehouse, owed by V.I.P. Foods Inc. under a warrant issued by the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

In a late February inspection, FDA agents found unsanitary conditions at the facility, which was deemed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The conditions included live rodents, a dead, desiccated rodent, and what appeared to be rodent tracks, rodent gnaw holes, and rodent excreta pellets in or near food products.

“V.I.P. Foods housed various dried mixes and bases, such as chicken soup base, blueberry muffin mix and bread crumbs; and the conditions inside this warehouse were just deplorable,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “We will continue to take aggressive action to protect public health.”

Some of V.I.P. Foods’ products are distributed under the name VIP Foods Inc., VIP, V.I.P., or KoJel. V.I.P. Foods also distributes other products under private label.

To date, no illnesses have been associated with V.I.P. Foods products. Illnesses or adverse events related to use of these products should be reported to the FDA at caers@fda.hhs.gov or by calling 240-402-2405.

© Food Safety News
  • Fiona

    Whilst I have absolute no understanding of the powers of US FDA Marshals, the question has to be asked why a firmer and stronger enforcement measures weren’t implemented in late February when rodent excretia; gnawing; live and dried rodents clearly indicated a well established rodent infestation of several generations at that stage. Rats reach sexual maturity at 5 weeks approximately, with a litter of approximately 5-8 babies but can be up to 20; mice are sexually active at between 4-6 weeks with a litter consisting of between 8 – 4 babies. They’re loving animals too, free loving between siblings. What was found on April 12th by the Marshals as a follow up must, literally, been moving mountains of food. Gotta ask why was there a delay in a firmer approach????