AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced the filing of lawsuits against two wholesale food companies found to be operating under unsanitary conditions. The lawsuits are filed against Everspring Enterprises, Inc., located in Irving, and Southern Star Distributors I, LTD, a Texas limited partnership, and Southern Star Management, LLC, located in Plano.
Even after repeated inspections by the Texas Department of Health, the two companies failed to remedy numerous deficiencies including live rodents and insects among food, as well as unclean premises.
The lawsuits allege that the companies failed to correct noted deficiencies and did not protect food products from contamination. As a result, the companies are alleged to have violated the Texas Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The Attorney General is seeking a court order to stop the alleged unhealthy and unsanitary conditions as well as civil penalties in the amount of $25,000 per violation and money to cover the costs of the State's investigations and attorneys fees.
The lawsuits were filed, at the request of the Commissioner of Health, in State District Courts in Dallas and Collin Counties. The alleged violations for each company include:
Everspring Enterprises, Inc
• Live rodents, including infant rodents, found nested inside boxes of food and throughout the warehouse.
• Numerous live birds flying about the warehouse and landing on the tops of sacks and cases of foods, ceiling rafters above stored foods, and pecking at foods stored in the damaged goods area.
• Live insects found among boxes of single-serve packets of mustard sauce, dried mushrooms, noodles.
Southern Star Distributors I, LTD, a Texas limited partnership, and Southern Star Management, LLC.
• Rodent droppings found on pallets of canned products and along the walls of the warehouse.
• Inspectors observed a potential for cross contamination when they found a box of raw broccoli on top of a box containing a reddish colored liquid that was found on a box of unpackaged raw chicken on ice.
• Numerous live rodents and insects, rodent droppings and general unsanitary conditions were found.
Assistant Attorney General Jessica Davis, in the Dallas office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, is handling these cases.
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