OMAHA, Neb. -- Nash Finch Co. has paid a fine of $400,000 after pleading guilty to charges of transporting adulterated meat and poultry products.
The Minneapolis-based company, which pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor counts last August, has paid a civil penalty to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for nearly $33,000, and donated $100,000 worth of food to a food bank, U.S. Attorney Mike Heavican said last week. The company launched a sanitation audit program, which was required under a plea agreement, and paid the $400,000 fine, he said.
"To the best of my knowledge, they've been very cooperative," Heavican told SN.
USDA inspectors at a warehouse in Omaha discovered 12 shipments of food products that were adulterated in the fall of 1999. The product was shipped from Nash Finch's Omaha distribution center to the company's reclamation center in Sioux Falls, S.D. More than 1,500 pounds of adulterated meat and poultry were detained. Nash Finch voluntarily destroyed the meat, and more than 30,700 pounds of adulterated non-meat foods.
"It is important to understand that no adulterated product ever reached the public," said Nash Finch spokesman Brian Numainville. "When the events were brought to light, Nash Finch immediately took remedial action and cooperated fully with the government throughout."