Ready-to-eat spices and food additives exposed to widespread rodent infestation were seized by the FDA
By Ben Tinker and Rebekah Riess, CNN
(CNN) -- FDA-regulated spices and food additive products exposed to "widespread rodent infestation" as well as live and dead insects, were seized in Miami on Friday by the US Marshals Service on behalf of the US Food and Drug Administration, according to an FDA statement.
The food products included more than 25,000 boxes and bags of bulk ready-to-eat spices and food additives, including monosodium glutamate, crushed red chili, and sesame seeds, the FDA said.
A complaint filed by the US Department of Justice on behalf of the FDA alleges that an inspection of the Lyden Spice Corporation conducted between June 8 and June 28, 2021, found "insanitary conditions."
Rodent feces "too numerous to count" on and around pallets with containers of food were found, according to the complaint, as well as evidence of rodent gnawing and urine on food containers, rodent-nesting material between food pallets, live and dead insects on food packaging, and apparent bird droppings in the food storage area.
CNN has reached out to Lyden Spice for comment.
The FDA is requesting that the food products be condemned and forfeited to the United States.
"The FDA plays a critical role in safeguarding the US food supply and helping to ensure that our food is not contaminated at any point during its journey along the supply chain," Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said.
"We take our responsibility seriously and will continue to take action against those who threaten the safety and quality of the products we regulate as a necessary step to protect the public health and the safety of Americans. The widespread insanitary conditions found at the Lyden Spice Corporation are disturbing and won't be tolerated."
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