The Police NewsHouston
District Court Orders Texas Company to Stop Selling Adulterated Food
HOUSTON - A federal court permanently enjoined a Houston company from processing and distributing adulterated seafood products in violation of federal law, the Department of Justice announced today.
The entered consent decree of permanent injunction follows an August 2019 complaint the Food and Drug Administration filed. The complaint alleged Topway Enterprises, doing business as Kazy’s Gourmet, and the principals of the business - Jeff Liao, Ying Chen and Adwin Liao - sold ready-to-eat fish and fishery products in a facility with serious insanitary conditions. Specifically, the complaint alleged FDA inspections found the defendants failed to adequately control the growth of Listeria monocytogenes at their facility.
The defendants agreed to settle the litigation by the entered consent decree of permanent injunction. As part of the settlement, they must comply with specific remedial measures set forth in the injunction. In addition, the settlement provides safeguards to ensure future processing of ready-to-eat raw fish at their facility comports with the requirements of the law. The filing of the complaint and agreed settlement follows FDA’s decision in July 2019 to exercise its authority under federal law to suspend the defendants’ food facility registration. The complaint alleges that, since the suspension, the defendants have taken positive steps to correct the problems at their facility.
“The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing laws designed to ensure that the food we put on our tables is safe,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will continue to work with the FDA to take steps necessary to protect the public from potentially unsafe food.”
“One of our many important enforcement priorities is to help ensure food is safe,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. “This action will help ensure compliance with federal law and FDA rules and regulations. I’m glad we were able to reach this resolution.”
“After documenting food safety violations at the Topway facility, the FDA took action to suspend Topway’s food facility registration, which prohibits the company from selling or distributing food from the facility into commerce,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas. “We are happy the company is taking steps to correct the severe problems at their facility and the FDA continues to work with the company as it brings its facility into compliance.”
Trial Attorney Joshua D. Rothman of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch handled the matter with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew A. Bobb of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District and Senior Counsel Barbara Alkalay of the FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel.
For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx.