Professional Warehouse and Distribution Inc., a repeat offender on the FDA’s books, won’t be storing food for human consumption any more according to the owner who spoke after U.S. Marshals seized food from the rodent-infested facility.
The marshals went in on June 15 after the U.S. Department of Justice, working at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, filed documents with the U.S. District Court in Minnesota. Live birds and insects had also infested the storage facility.
“The storage conditions in the warehouse were simply unacceptable, and the FDA took action to protect Americans,” said FDA’s Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Melinda K. Plaisier.
The food products seized are worth about $73,000 and include, among other things, barley flour, spices, pasta, dried beans, tea and cookies, according to a news release from the FDA.
On May 26, the FDA used its authority to detain food products held at the facility after witnessing widespread vermin activity. Under its administrative detention authority, the FDA can detain a food or dietary supplement product if the agency has reason to believe the product is adulterated or misbranded.
FDA inspectors had cited the Professional Warehouse and Distribution Inc. in St. Paul, MN, in February and October of 2015 for insanitary conditions. During the February 2015 inspection the operators promised to resolve the pest problems, but they did not.
“The company had not implemented the corrective actions that it had promised following the earlier inspection, and the FDA identified additional adverse conditions at the warehouse,” according to the FDA news release. “The company again promised to address these issues, but the FDA found additional problems during the latest inspection in 2017.”
Marc Gunia, a co-owner and founder of the warehouse, acknowledged the unsanitary conditions when the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper interviewed him, saying the warehouse has a pest control service and that the warehouse had done “the proper cleaning, and everything is back to normal.”
The StarTribune reported Gunia said the 80-000-square-foot warehouse, is “no longer going to handle food consumed by humans.” He told the newspaper “food is just a small component” of what the warehouse stores. He also told the newspaper some of the seized food is owned by other businesses and some of it arrived at his warehouse already infested by insects.
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