PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that United States District Court Judge Joshua D. Wolson approved a Consent Decree between the United States and Philadelphia food distributor Kawa Trading, Inc. (“Kawa”). On April 7, 2020, the United States filed a lawsuit to stop Kawa, and its president Chui Xun Liu (“Liu”), from continuing to violate federal meat and poultry food safety laws. The Complaint alleged that Kawa received and sold multiple unlabeled and uninspected cases of poultry products in December 2017 and January 2018. It further alleged that Kawa had a long history of violating the Poultry Products Inspection Act (“PPIA”) and the Federal Meat Inspection Act (“FMIA”), with violations dating back to 2013.
The defendants admitted to violating the PPIA and FMIA as alleged in the Complaint. The Consent Decree resolves all of these claims, provides for a permanent injunction enjoining Kawa and Liu from committing future violations, and calls for monetary penalties and other appropriate relief in the event of future violations.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) of the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), is responsible for ensuring that meat and poultry products in commerce are wholesome, not adulterated, and properly marked, labeled, and packaged. The PPIA and FMIA are laws that prohibit companies and individuals from selling, transporting, offering for sale or transportation, or receiving for transportation, misbranded or uninspected poultry and meat that is capable of use as human food.
“Food safety is a key public health concern, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “The Consent Decree in this case in an important step to ensure that food distributors like Kawa abide by all regulatory requirements that are designed to protect our food supply. My Office will continue to work with the USDA to enforce our nation’s food safety laws and protect consumers.”
“FSIS’s authority to enforce the FMIA and the PPIA is clear,” said FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker. “Our inspectors and investigators are hard at work every day ensuring that the public has access to safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled food and, when necessary, we will take swift action to protect American consumers.”
The action is captioned United States of America v. Kawa Trading, Inc. and Chui Xun Liu, EDPA No. 20-1826.
The United States Attorney’s Office received valuable assistance from two divisions of the FSIS Office of Investigation, Enforcement, and Audit: the Compliance and Investigations Division, Northeast Region and the Enforcement and Litigation Division. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey L. B. Smith handled the civil matter, with assistance from USDA Office of the General Counsel Trial Attorney Tracy McGowan.