The numbers are in for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for the final quarater of fiscal year 2022. FSIS progressive enforcment starts on the slaugther room floor and contnues until it reaches into federal courtrooms.
The quarterly Enforcment Report for the period ending Sept. 30, 2022, was, however, fairly light on court action. Prosecution of Rhode Island Beef and Veal, which carried an Oct. 30, 2020, indictment, continues to be reported.
The firm and priciples Michael A. Quattrucci and Joel Quattrucci are charged with multiple violations of the Federal Meat Act including illegal use of the USDA Mark of Inspection, falsely representing that meat was properly inspected, and preparing beef without proper inspection.
Two establishments faced withdrawal or denial of FSIS inspection for unfitness actions.
The first involved a Feb. 28, 2022, complaint against Westland, MI-based King of Basturma LLC and its owner Abbas Hachem. On Aug. 1, 2022, Hachem requested the cancellation of an administrative hearing that was scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13, 2022. FSIS has refused to provide the Michigan establishment with inspection services based on Hachem’s felony conviction.
The second facing a denial issue is Rupert, ID-based Ida Meats LLC, and owner Alan Ward and manager Katherine L. Gummow. FSIS filed a complaint to withdraw federal inspection services based on Ward’s felony conviction for assault and battery and Gummow’s conviction for possession of a controlled substance. The FSIS action is intended to last for three years. Resumption of FSIS inspection services is contingent on a harassment-free work environment and other requirements.
Activity-wise, it was another quarter of about 40 million head of livestock going through the nation’s slaughterhouses — 39,992 million to be exact. The poultry slaughter topped 2.5 billion, for a record for the year. Sixty-thousand head of livestock and more than 1.8 million birds were condemned before going through the system.
The FSIS Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit (OIEA) conducts surveillance and investigation of regulated and in-commerce meat, poultry and egg product facilities; investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks; response to natural disaster and intentional contamination events; execution and application of enforcement of criminal, civil and administrative sanctions and authorities; verification that state meat and poultry programs are conducted in a manner at least equal to the federal program; and verification that meat, poultry and egg products imported into the United States are produced under equivalent standards.
During the final quarter of fiscal year 2033, OIEA detained 103 shipments of meat, poultry or egg products for a total of more than 2.7 million pounds. Shipments totaling almost 4 million pounds in 356 shipments were detained during the entire fiscal year.
FSIS also sent “probibited activiity notices” to eight firms duirng the period. On the recieiving end of those notices were:
+ Amerigold Logistics LLC, Pooler, GA
+Beef Jerkey Experience, Tulalip, WA
+Bels Foods International Corp., Federal Way, WA
+Fresh International Market, Schaumburg, IL
+LC Fairwinds West Hills, West Hills, CA
+Puerto Rico Pork Projects, MOCA, PR
+Red Mountain Ranch Country Club, MESA, AZ
+Spring Ridge Academy, Mayer, AZ
FSIS took administrative action against 50 establishments during the quarter and closed 45 of those cases during the period. Only seven of those actions involved the largest plants regulated by FSIS, one of the lowest levels in memory.
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