A California federal judge entered a consent decree against Henh Wong Fresh Produce, a tofu and sprout manufacturer and distributor, and its owner, current manager, and former manager after FDA discovered multiple violations of federal food safety laws.
According to FDA, the US Department of Justice sought the consent decree on behalf the FDA after investigators found insect and rodent filth, insanitary employee practices, and improperly cleaned equipment on multiple occasions. The investigators said the facility failed to keep pests out the plant. Rodent pellets were found in food storage areas and live and dead cockroaches were observed in the food processing areas.
“After multiple inspections finding a continuing pattern of violations, Henh Wong Fresh Produce has shown that they are unwilling to clean up their practices without legal intervention,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “When a company endangers public health by selling food produced in unclean conditions, the FDA must take action.”
The company was sent notice of the unsanitary conditions including a warning letter in 2003 and a regulatory meeting with FDA officials in 2010. Though some violations were corrected, FDA said the efforts were inadequate.
The consent decree requires the company to hire a sanitation expert and develop and implement a sanitation control and food safety plan before it may resume operations, FDA said.