A federal sentencing in Arkansas, convictions in Florida, and a guilty plea in Puerto Rico topped fourth-quarter enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). USDA’s final period of the year ended last Oct. 1 at the start of the current federal fiscal year. The three-month quarterly enforcement report includes FSIS administrative, civil and criminal actions. Edward Martsolf, owner of the Petit Jean Farm in Morrilton, AR, was sentenced for knowingly offering for sale, and selling and transporting, meat as human food that was misbranded with counterfeit marks of federal inspection he applied. Martsolf was sentenced to three years probation, fined $2,000, and required to pay $3,257 in restitution. Martsolf earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of forging and applying counterfeit marks of federal inspection and selling and offering misbranded meat products for sale. Also during the quarter, Jorge F. Ortega, owner of Jorge’s Farm near Citrus Park, FL, was convicted of thee felony counts of selling adulterated and misbranded meat food products in commerce, selling uninspected meat food products in commerce, and inhumane slaughter of swine. Ortega was sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service after entering an open plea for selling adulterated and misbranded meat, selling uninspected meat, and violating humane slaughter standards. The final criminal charges stemming from FSIS enforcement actions during the period came in Puerto Rico. Jose Suarez, owner of PR’s Joshua Enterprises, pleaded guilty to one count of information for selling, or offering for sale, 52,859 pounds of pork shoulders, which were at the time adulterated and unfit for human consumption. Suarez’ sentencing was scheduled for the new fiscal year. Among the major civil enforcement actions by FSIS during the quarter were: Zhong Chen, Asian Chen, and Kimen Chen, owners of Chicago’s Feida Bakery, were permanently enjoined from misbranding, selling or transporting meat and meat products. Richard Galligan, owner of Galligan Wholesale Meat Co. in Denver, signed a settlement agreement with the U.S. attorney for Colorado and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. For release from civil and administrative action, Galligan agreed to pay $80,000. At issue was a possible breach of contract by mistake, unjust enrichment, and fraud. San Leandro, CA-based Galant Food Co. received an administrative complaint and consent decision, suspending federal meat inspection services for multiple regulatory violations and failures. John Stubblefield, owner of Hot Springs Packing Co. Inc., entered into a consent decision and order with FSIS allowing federal inspection services to resume when Listeria monocytogenes controls are implemented. Paul and Kelly Rosberg, owners of Nebraska’s Finest Meats in Randolph, NE, remain suspended from federal meat inspection services because of acts of intimidation and interference. Brasher Falls, NY-based Tri-Town Packing Corporation was subject to a FSIS complaint to withdraw federal meat inspectors for multiple violations. Back in the meat and poultry plants where FSIS enforcement actions typically begin, meat inspectors documented 27,344 non-compliances (NRs), which raised the total number of NRs for the year to 101,166. Upon appeal, 302 were dismissed, and 158 resulted in modified NRs. Appeals were upheld for 539 NRs for the year, which typically means that the decision of the FSIS meat inspector stands. With those high retail beef prices continuing, the quarterly report shows beef inspection at just over 34 million carcasses for a second straight quarter. That’s down from 38.5 million and 35 million during the first two quarters of the year, respectively. Poultry production, topping 2.3 billion carcasses for the final quarter, marked a high for the year.