By Rebecca Henely
A Corona halal slaughterhouse has been barred from selling uninspected poultry after it was found to have been marketing its wares to supermarkets and groceries in Queens instead of to individuals, U.S. attorney in Brooklyn said last week.
Brooklyn Attorney General Loretta Lynch said 44th Avenue Halal Poultry Corp. at 102-09 44th Ave. and its president, Hakim Abdul Mazumder, entered into a consent decree which permanently enjoined the corporation from selling uninspected chicken. If Mazumder and the corporation commit more violations, they face a series of penalties, which include increasing fines.
“The defendants flouted vital USDA inspection procedures and placed uninspected poultry directly into grocery and other retail stores despite repeated warnings,” Lynch said in a statement. “By their actions, they placed their economic interests ahead of public health and safety.”
An employee at the slaughterhouse said Tuesday they no longer sell to supermarkets but would not comment further.
Mazumder and his corporation operated under an exception to the Poultry Products Inspection Act, which allows companies to sell poultry that has not gone through the inspection process directly to individuals so they may eat it at home, the court said.
But Mazumder sold thousands of pounds of uninspected poultry to groceries and retail stores in Maspeth, Astoria and Jackson Heights between 2005 and 2011, according to a complaint filed by the Justice Department against Mazumder and the corporation.
Justice made these claims because of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service, Lynch said. While he received repeated warnings to stop, Mazumder kept selling the uninspected poultry, the court said.
Mazumder and the corporation were barred from selling uninspected poultry or poultry products Sept. 27 after the Brooklyn federal court granted the government a preliminary injunction against the corporation, the court said.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garufis approved the decree, Lynch said.
“With the successful resolution of this matter, a significant health risk to the public has been remedied,” she said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.