FDA Seizes Thousands of Dollars of Food in St. Paul

The warehouse had twice been found unsanitary in previous inspections.

ST. PAUL – The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Tuesday that it had seized $73,000 worth of food products stored at Professional Warehouse and Distribution, Inc. in St. Paul.

The products were seized by United States Marshals on June 15, following the latest in a series of inspections of the facility dating back to February 2015. The latest inspection on May 26 found significant vermin activity in the facilities which was affecting the food stored within.

Using its administrative detention authority the FDA then detained the products, until the Marshals seized the products on June 15. The FDA only had 20 days to detain the products before they had to make a determination whether they could be seized or not.

Seized products include barley flour, spices, pasta, dried beans, tea, and cookies, among other things.

“The FDA plays a key role protecting public health and ensuring not only that food is properly manufactured and labeled, but that it is handled and stored correctly as well,” FDA’s Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Melinda K. Plaisier said in a press release. “The storage conditions in the warehouse were simply unacceptable, and the FDA took action to protect Americans.”

Previous inspections of the facility by the FDA revealed unsanitary conditions. The first inspection was in February 2015, after which the company promised to resolve the sanitation conditions. An October 2015 inspection, however revealed that the promised changes had not been made. The facility once again promised to take action to correct the issue.

The FDA did not inspect the facility again until the 2017 visit. Sanitation conditions still had not been addressed, and the situation had deteriorated to the point of clearly visible signs of vermin activity.

No illnesses have yet been reported that link back to the food products stored at Professional Warehouse and Distribution, Inc. according to the FDA.

Anders Koskinen