Adulterated Food: Case Brief
Nelson C. Delos Santos
March 10, 2011
Dr. Maurice Rosano
Case 44.1 United States of America v. LaGrou Distribution Systems, Incorporated Issue
Did LaGrou knowingly engage in the improper storage of meat, poultry, and other food products, in violation of federal food safety laws? Rule of Law
To control the shipment, storage and distribution of contaminated food, the government created the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). It is a federal statute that conforms to the safe creation and distribution of cosmetics, drugs, and medical devices (p. 694). Facts of the Case
LaGrou Distribution Systems, Incorporated, operated a cold storage warehouse and distribution center in Chicago, Illinois. The warehouse stored raw, fresh, and frozen meat, poultry, and other food products that were owned by customers who paid LaGrou to do so. Over 2 million pounds of food went into and out of the warehouse each day.
The warehouse had a rat problem for a considerable period of time. LaGrou workers consistently found rodent droppings and rodent-gnawed products, and they caught rats in traps throughout the warehouse on a daily basis. The manager of the warehouse and the president of LaGrou were aware of this problem and discussed it weekly. The problem became so that workers were assigned to “rat patrols” to search for rats and to put out traps to catch rats. At one point, the rat patrols were trapping as many as 50 rats per day. LaGrou did not inform its customers of the rodent infestation. LaGrou would throw out product that has been gnawed by rats but tell the customers that the product was thrown out because of the warehouse damage such as torn boxes and forklift mishaps. LaGrou employees, as a joke, would write “MM” for Mickey Mouse on product that was infested.
One day, a food inspector for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) went to the LaGrou warehouse and discovered the rat problem. The...
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