Skip to main content
Press Release

Food Suppliers to Pay $395,000 to Resolve Claims of Mislabeled Inspection Dates on Frozen Beef Patties Sold to Federal Prisons

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that four related food supply companies will pay $395,000 to resolve claims that frozen ground beef patties they supplied to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (the BOP) were misleadingly labeled.  

The United States contends that, in early 2020, the companies — Prime Food Sales, Inc. of Port Washington, N.Y., Prime Food Sales LLC of Dresher, Pennsylvania, JTP Sales, LLC of Atlanta, Georgia, and JW Sales & Distribution, LLC of Dresher, Pennsylvania — sold 190,000 pounds of the patties to the BOP for distribution to federal prisons nationwide. Though the supply contract with the BOP required that the patties be no more than 6 months old when delivered, re-inspection labels on the product packaging created the false appearance that the patties were younger than six months old at delivery when they were actually older. This non-compliance with the contract’s terms resulted in the companies making false payment claims to the BOP.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office coordinated its investigation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-OIG), which began investigating after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service detained some of the patties in February 2020. The government’s investigation concluded that, although product labeling misrepresented inspection dates and the patties’ age, product quality and safety were unaffected.  

“When supplying food to federal agencies, federal contractors are in a position of public trust and must adhere to contract specifications, especially those like product-age requirements that may impact food safety or quality,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Today’s resolution should send a message to firms supplying food to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and other federal agencies that we will hold these contractors responsible for violations of law, including when they present claims for payment while disregarding contract terms. We will continue to work with law enforcement partners to identify federal contractors and subcontractors who risk the health or safety of consumers and to hold them accountable.”

“Contractors that are selected and paid by the government to supply food to inmates are expected to comply with contractual and other standards. When they provide mislabeled products, as the companies allegedly did here, the government is deprived of what it bargained for and the health and safety of inmates is potentially placed at risk,” said Andrew B. Hartwell, Special Agent in Charge of DOJ OIG’s Fraud Detection Office. “The DOJ OIG is committed to rooting out this type of contract fraud.”   

The settlement resolves civil claims under the False Claims Act that are allegations only. There has been no determination of liability, and the companies did not admit liability. They generally cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s investigation.  

The matter was handled in the U.S. Attorney’s Office by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerald B. Sullivan and Auditor Dawn Wiggins, with support from the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The Department of Justice’s investigation was part of its enforcement focus on combatting federal procurement fraud. The False Claims Act is one of the most powerful tools in this enforcement effort. Although there was no whistleblower in this matter, the False Claims Act includes whistleblower provisions allowing a private party to file an action on behalf of the United States and to receive a portion of any recovery. Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in connection with Federal Bureau of Prison contracts or against other Department of Justice components can be reported at

Updated May 21, 2024