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FDA Takes Enforcement Action Against Ready-to-Eat Sandwich Manufacturer
Date:10/8/2009

Company allegedly failed to correct violations

SILVER SPRING, Md., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has filed a complaint for permanent injunction against Rel's Foods Inc. (Rel's), of Oakland, Calif., seeking to stop the company from manufacturing, producing, and selling adulterated food products.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090824/FDALOGO )

The complaint also names Rel's Vice President, Peder Scott Sorensen, and two managers, Patrick O'Malley and Timothy E. Ault. Rel's prepares, processes, and distributes a variety of ready-to-eat sandwiches to convenience stores, deli markets, liquor stores, mini-marts, and gas stations in Nevada and California.

The government's complaint, filed this week in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, alleges that Rel's has an extensive history of operating under insanitary conditions. The complaint states that Rel's has produced and distributed ready-to-eat sandwiches contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono). Listeriosis, the illness caused by L. mono, can cause fatal infections in young children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women may suffer miscarriages or stillbirths as a result of the infection.

The complaint alleges that FDA investigators have found L. mono inside Rel's production facility on numerous occasions since 2002. Additionally, routine laboratory testing by the Department of Defense and the California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch (CFDB) found L. mono in the company's processing plant and finished sandwiches. Based on recent laboratory analyses, CFDB has embargoed and seized all in-p
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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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