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Warehouser Admits Selling Rat-Tainted Meat

June 22, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The owner of a now-closed food processing and distribution company pleaded guilty Monday to selling thousands of pounds of meat that had been contaminated by rodents.

Lihn Vi Lam, 47, owner of Big Bird Poultry, waived her right to a federal indictment and pleaded guilty to a charge of offering adulterated food for sale.

Big Bird Poultry sold cuts of chicken and other meat to restaurants and hotels in the Kansas City area.

U.S. Attorney Todd Graves said Lam admitted storing 6,935 pounds of beef, pork and lamb in such unsanitary conditions that it became infested with rodents and their hair and fecal matter. She said she knew about the infestation and that a plant manager would sweep away rodent droppings before routine visits by agricultural inspectors.

Officials discovered the contamination in April 2001 and ordered the meat and 22,780 pounds of chicken destroyed.

Lam faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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