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Tuna Salad Other Products Seized At Louisiana Company

At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals last week seized tuna salad sandwiches and other food products from Bearden Sandwich Company Inc., doing business as Southern Belle Sandwich Company, in Baton Rouge, La.

The seized products, totaling more than $72,000, violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because the products have been prepared, packed, and held under unsanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to the public’s health (the Act uses the term "insanitary" to describe such conditions). In addition, the tuna fish salad sandwiches were processed under conditions that violate Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

The company distributes products to convenience and retail stores in southern Louisiana; Mobile and Montgomery, Ala.; and Crestview, Fla.

The FDA said in a statement that recent inspections found evidence of filthy conditions and poor employee practices, such as allowing food-processing utensils to lie on the floor near live insects.

The seized products were prepared, packed and held under unsanitary conditions and may have become "contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to the public's health," the statement said.

A call to the company was not answered. It was not immediately clear what sanctions the company or its employees could face.

The agency urged consumers who may have purchased the company's products to dispose of them and wash their hands thoroughly.