County settles food storage lawsuit with Sysco

Ten California counties, including Santa Clara County, have settled a civil lawsuit filed against the Sysco Corporation regarding storing perishable foods in un-refrigerated and unregistered storage sheds.

Sysco Corporation will pay $19 million in restitution, costs and civil penalties for allowing seven Operating Companies to store the food in at least 22 unregistered storage sheds, according to the Marin County District Attorney's Office, one of the Bay Area plaintiffs.

The other Bay Area plaintiffs are Alameda, Monterey, Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma countries. The judgment against Sysco was entered Thursday, July 17, in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The complaint alleged that between 2009 and 2013, Sysco used refrigerated food trucks to transport products for some customer orders in the food industry to the sheds that were not registered with the California Department of Public Health.

The perishable food products were picked up throughout the day by Sysco marketing associates in unregistered personal vehicles for delivery to Sysco customers, the Marin County District Attorney's Office said.

The complaint also alleged Sysco engaged in misleading advertising regarding food safety standards.

The California Department of Public Health investigated the practice after a NBC Bay Area undercover investigation. The CDPH found some of the 22 storage sheds also were unsanitary, the Marin County District Attorney's Office said.

Sysco voluntarily ceased the alleged practices when the civil action was taken by the district attorneys'offices.

One of the sheds was in the Greenbrae area of Marin County.

"The results of this consumer protection enforcement action is a great accomplishment in enhancing food safety for not only Marin County residents but for consumers statewide who could potentially be affected by unsafe food handling practices," Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said.

Under the settlement, Sysco will pay $15 million in civil penalties, over $4 million in restitution that includes a $1 million food contribution to food banks throughout California and $3.3 million to the California Department of Public Health Food Safety Division for the cost of a 5-year statewide food inspection program.

Sysco also is prohibited from engaging in unsafe food transportation and storage practices and required to develop a comprehensive food safety program to ensure the practices are not repeated.

— Bay City News Service


Like this comment
Posted by Sysco Systems
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm

"Sysco also is prohibited from engaging in unsafe food transportation and storage practices"

Nice to know that they're now being required to follow the law.

Like this comment
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

"investigated the practice after a NBC Bay Area undercover investigation" - Good for those Investigative Unit people. The kind of "watchdog" journalists we always need.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Coming soon: Fire Oak & Barley in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 2,991 views

The Saddle Room – A True Friend of Kids
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,829 views

Meditation Before Medication for Better Mental Health
By Chandrama Anderson | 11 comments | 1,823 views

The Four E's--Pope Francis and the Middle Class
By Steve Levy | 2 comments | 694 views

Radical Acceptance
By Caroline Fleck | 0 comments | 201 views