F.D.A. acts against tainted products from Rel's Food

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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SILVER SPRING, MD. — The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a complaint for permanent injunction against Rel’s Foods Inc., Oakland, Calif., to stop the company from manufacturing, producing and selling adulterated food products. The D.O.J. is acting on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The complaint alleges Rel’s has a history of operating under unsanitary conditions producing and distributing ready-to-eat sandwiches contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes with the pathogen being found inside the company’s production facility on various occasions since 2002. Routine lab testing also found the contaminant in the company’s processing plant and finished sandwiches.

Rel’s prepares, processes and distributes various ready-to-eat sandwiches to convenience stores, deli markets, liquor stores, mini-marts and gas stations in Nevada and California.

"Rel’s lack of effective measures to bring its food processing operations into compliance with the law poses a serious public health threat," said Michael Chappel, acting association commissioner for regulatory affairs. "The company’s failure to comply with good manufacturing practice also demonstrates the potential for the company to continue to manufacture contaminated products."

The complaint specifically names Peder Scott Sorensen, Rel’s vice-president, as well as two managers, Patrick O’Malley and Timothy E. Ault.

A company spokesperson for Rel’s Foods said any product manufactured that was at risk for contamination was recalled, and no one has reported any illness. The spokesperson said any product manufactured since then with the Rel’s name on it was made in other factories. FSM

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