Long grain milled white rice, manufactured by SAMAN and imported into the United States by Caney Distributors Inc. based in San Juan, Puerto Rico was refused entry last July. The importer had failed to provide necessary documentation to substantiate that the shipment was in compliance with applicable regulations. whiterice_406x250In a recently released warning letter to Caney Distributors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) charged the company with partially distributing the shipment into U.S. commerce “for consumption without an FDA release.” FDA said the Puerto Rico company violated U.S. regulations, which require the importer to hold an imported article and not distribute it without a receipt of results of an examination of the impounded sample. “On July 31, 2015, United States Customs Border Protection (CBP) issued a Notice to Redeliver (CBP Form 4647) requesting the redelivery of the white rice shipment, which you failed to adhere,” the FDA warning letter says.  “Your failure to comply with this Notice is also subject to a CBP penalty action.” “Failure to promptly correct this situation and prevent future premature distribution of imported products may result in future shipments being held in a CBP secured storage facility,” FDA added. “Secured storage facilities are under the strict supervision and direction of CBP in a bonded warehouse, and you will be responsible for all costs incurred for holding your product at one of these facilities.” FDA said it may take additional action without notice including seizure or injunction of the importer’s shipments. It said the white rice was adulterated and the company is responsible for dealing with it under legal requirements. The warning letter does not say how large the white rice shipment was or the amount of the product that reached American consumers.   (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)