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United States Seeks Injunctive Relief Against a Brooklyn Business Selling Uninspected Poultry and Meat to the Public

November 9, 2010

Suit Seeks to Protect The Public From Purchasing Poultry and Meat Products That Have Not Been Properly Inspected And Approved

Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, today announced the filing of a civil complaint against NY Gourmet Salads, Inc., its Vice-President, Leonard Spada, its President, Pasquale Petruzzo, and another corporation controlled by Spada, Crystal Salads, Inc. The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the Poultry Products Inspection Act, as amended, 21 U.S.C. §§ 451, et seq. (PPIA), and the Federal Meat Inspection Act, 21 U.S.C. § 601 et seq. (FMIA). The suit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from selling uninspected poultry and meat products to the general public.

NY Gourmet, based in Brooklyn, prepares, packs, and distributes poultry and meat products. The government’s claims arose from several investigations conducted by the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture which revealed that the defendants have disregarded the health and welfare of the consumers of their products. The complaint alleges that, since at least 2009, the defendants have repeatedly violated the PPIA and FMIA by preparing, transporting, and offering for sale poultry and meat products that have not been inspected for wholesomeness as required by the Acts; falsely representing to the public that their poultry and meat products have passed inspection; ignoring a suspension of federal inspection services by the USDA; and maintaining their facility under insanitary conditions, as demonstrated by multiple findings of Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono), a potentially lethal bacteria. The defendants may also be using a separate entity, Crystal Salads, to prepare, process, and offer for sale uninspected meat and poultry.

“We are committed to protecting the public from health risks and ensuring that all meat and poultry products sold to the general public are properly inspected and safe for consumption,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch thanked the Evaluation and Enforcement Division of the United States Department of Agriculture for its investigative work, as well USDA’s Office of General Counsel for its assistance in the case.

“The Food Safety and Inspection Service is dedicated to protecting the public health by ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome and accurately labeled” said Frank N. Busch, Program Manager for the Office of Program Evaluation Enforcement and Review.

The government’s case is being litigated by Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth Abell.

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