Feds Ink Plea Agreement with Cheese Manufacturer

The Department of Justice announced yesterday that Delaware-based Roos Foods Inc. has “signed a plea agreement in which it has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA)” and has agreed to “a proposed consent decree of permanent injunction” that would halt production until the Roos facilities are brought into line with federal standards.

The agreement stems from the Feds’ allegation that “Roos distributed cheese in interstate commerce connected to an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) in early 2014.”  Specifically:

The civil complaint alleges that Roos Foods and two individual defendants violated the FDCA by, among other things, introducing or delivering for introduction into interstate commerce articles of food that were adulterated in that the food was prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health.  The proposed consent decree of permanent injunction requires the defendants to cease receiving, preparing, processing, packing, holding and distributing all food products unless and until the defendants bring their operations into compliance with the FDCA and its implementing regulations.

Coupled with recent reports of outbreaks in Dole salad and at fast-food darling, Chipotle, cheese and dairy manufacturers should expect closer scrutiny from federal authorities not afraid to pull the trigger on criminal charges.