(STL.News) – Makola Market, a retail food store in Worcester, has entered into a consent decree with the government to resolve allegations that it continually violated the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) by selling and offering for sale non-federally inspected meat products.
Under the consent decree, Makola Market and its owner and manager, Comfort Russell, face significant penalties if violations of the FMIA continue. The consent decree also permanently enjoins Makola Market and Ms. Russell from further violating the FMIA and provides investigators with broad access for inspection of the premises and business records in the future.
“Consumers should be able to trust that the food they buy is produced and sold under safe and sanitary conditions,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “This consent decree establishes procedures to prevent this business and its owner from further jeopardizing the health of consumers.”
“Our inspection personnel are on the job daily, verifying that establishments are providing consumers with safe, wholesome, and properly labeled meat products,” said Carmen Rottenberg, FSIS Administrator. “The consent decree agreed to by Makola Market provides our investigators with broad access to the premises and business records so that we can be confident in the safety of their meat products.”
The government filed its complaint after investigators with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) repeatedly issued written warnings to Makola Market and Ms. Russell to stop purchasing, offering for sale, and selling misbranded meat food products that were not inspected by the USDA. In addition, FSIS investigators cited Makola Market for failing to maintain the required business records of the purchase and sale of these meat food products. During the latest USDA inspection, investigators observed Makola Market offering for sale federally uninspected uncooked beef heads to retail customers and failed to maintain the necessary business records documenting the origin of these beef heads.
The government filed the proposed consent decree, which is subject to judicial approval.
U.S. Attorney Lelling and FSIS Administrator Rottenberg made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Johnson of Lelling’s Civil Division handled the case.
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