Federal judge orders local grocery store to quit selling items because of filthy conditions


ALMA, Ark. (KNWA) — The owner of a locally owned grocery store has been ordered to quit selling food, drug products, medical devices and cosmetics due to filthy contaminated conditions, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration news release.

The news release states the Western District of Arkansas ordered the owner, James T. White, and manager, Lori A. Layne, of J & L Grocery on U.S. 71, to stop selling the items until they complied with federal safety requirements.

The products may have been contaminated with widespread insect, rodent and other live animal infestation, the release states.

“U.S. consumers rely on the oversight and inspection efforts of the FDA to ensure that their foods and medical products are safe. We will not tolerate insanitary conditions at facilities—like J & L Grocery— that serve U.S. consumers,” said FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D.

A consent decree was entered by U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes, III. The decree requires those at the grocery store to not sell any FDA-regulated products until they complete “corrective actions” including closing the store until they implement a comprehensive written sanitation control program. They also can’t reopen until the FDA authorizes them to do so.

When the Food and Drug Administration inspected the grocery store during September and October 2018, investigators found several live and dead rodents, rodent nesting, live cats, live raccoons, a dead opossum, animal feces and urine-stained products in and around seven warehouses and shed used to store the food, medical products and cosmetics, the release states.

In November 2018, U.S. marshals seized thousands worth of items from the store. The U.S. Department of Justice filed the complaint on behalf of the FDA in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas alleging that the seized products are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a news release states.

the Western District of Arkansas, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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