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District Court Orders Illinois Sprouts And Soybean Products Company To Comply With Food Safety Rules

A federal court permanently enjoined a Chicago firm from preparing and distributing adulterated sprouts and soybean products in violation of federal law, the Department of Justice announced today.

In a civil complaint filed September 15, 2020 at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States alleged that Fortune Food Product, Inc., company president Steven Seeto, and supervisor Tiffany Jiang violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by growing sprouts and preparing soy products that FDA inspections showed did not comply with food safety regulations. According to the complaint, FDA issued a warning letter to the company in 2018, and tests in 2018 and 2019 revealed Listeria species inside the facility and E. coli in water used to irrigate sprouts. 

“The food consumers buy must be safe to eat,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “The Department of Justice will continue to partner with the FDA to ensure that companies follow food safety rules and prepare food in sanitary conditions.” 

The defendants agreed to be bound by a consent decree filed with the complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The order entered by the court permanently enjoins the defendants from violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Produce Safety Rule, and it requires Fortune Food to stop growing and packing sprouts or preparing other foods unless it complies with specific remedial measures set forth in the injunction.

“We are committed to protecting the food supply and when a company fails to follow the law, we will take action,” said FDA Chief Counsel Stacy Cline Amin, J.D.  “The FDA worked closely with DOJ to obtain this injunction and protect consumers.”

Trial Attorney Douglas Ross of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch represented the United States with the assistance of Associate Chief Counsel for Enforcement William Thanhauser of FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

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 Northern District of Illinois, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil