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Food seized from Minnesota warehouse due to infestation of rodents, birds and insects

ST. PAUL—Federal officials seized food from a St. Paul warehouse alleging that rodents, live birds and insects had infested the facility.

U.S. Marshals seized about $73,000 worth of food on May 26 from Professional Warehouse and Distribution following a failed U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection.

"The storage conditions in the warehouse were simply unacceptable, and the FDA took action to protect Americans," Melinda Plaisier, the FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, said in a statement.

Food seized included more than 8,000 bags of pasta, 18,000 pounds of barley flour and 12,000 pounds of red pepper spice.

The Food and Drug Administration reported that they warned warehouse owners after two 2015 inspections that the unsanitary conditions would lead to food failing federal standards.

The warehouse owners promised to clean up, but the FDA said inspectors found even more problems on May 25.

"The current 2017 FDA inspection, however, has revealed ... the insanitary conditions within the facility have become much more severe," a complaint for forfeiture reads.

Inspectors reported "widespread vermin activity:" rodents, live birds and insects had made their homes among the food.

"FDA Investigators observed two dead rodents in the food storage area .... rodent excreta pellets too numerous to count in, on, and around containers of food product; several containers of food which had been rodent gnawed; food bagging with stains characteristic of rodent urine; and rodent nesting material between food pallets," the complaint reads.

A call to the warehouse owners was not returned Wednesday and Thursday.

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