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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


ADULTERATED FOOD SEIZED FROM SHELBYVILLE CHEESE STORE

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — On February 23, 2011, agents of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Marshals Service served a Warrant for Arrest in rem of 96 cases of cheese held in a Shelbyville, Tenn., warehouse that is alleged to have been subjected to unsanitary conditions.

A civil Complaint for Forfeiture of the products was unsealed after the warrant was served, and the warrant and complaint are attached to this press release and filed as public records in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kent Anderson will represent the United States.

In summary, the Verified Complaint states that a January 2011 inspection of Bedford Cheese Store, Inc., Shelbyville, Tenn, found widespread and active rodent infestation and other health concerns and the response to the report was not adequate. Claimants claiming an interest in the products seized will be notified and will have 35 days to file a verified claim and then have 20 days to file an answer to the Complaint.

"The U.S. Attorney's office, working with the FDA and other federal agencies, will always take all steps necessary to keep the public safe from contaminated food supplies," said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

"The violations at Bedford Cheese are serious," said Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Dara A. Corrigan. "The FDA will take action against any food companies that don't have adequate safeguards to prevent contamination in foods they produce or hold for sale."

In a written response to FDA following the inspection, Bedford Cheese committed to cleaning up their facility, but failed to complete all corrective actions, such as developing and implementing a pest control plan to rid the facility of the active rodent infestation.

Consumers who believe they have received food products from Bedford Cheese Store that may have been held under unsanitary conditions and that may have become contaminated should contact the Bedford Cheese Store directly about what to do with the products they recently purchased.

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