The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that Peng Bandith, owner of the Lao Trading Company of Nashville has signed a consent decree that permanently prohibits Lao Trading Co. from distributing food held under insanitary conditions in interstate commerce.

The consent decree, approved by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on Oct. 13, 2010, stems from evidence of rodent activity throughout the company’s food storage warehouse found by inspectors from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the FDA.

The Lao Trading Company distributes food through its retail store and food stores throughout the Middle Tennessee area, including the cities of Nashville, LaVergne, Smyrna, and Murfreesboro. Among the types of food distributed by the company are seafood items, tofu, canned fruits, vegetables and drinks, rice, rice sticks, fruit juice drinks, coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce.

This is the second enforcement action the federal government has brought against the company. In 2005, U.S. marshals, acting at the request of FDA, seized adulterated food at the firm’s warehouse after inspectors found widespread rodent activity and structural defects.

"The violations at Lao Trading Co. are serious and repetitive,” said Dara A.Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA took this action because the company failed to provide adequate safeguards to ensure that products they produce or hold for sale remain free of contamination.”

Under the consent decree, Lao Trading Co. agreed to follow appropriate pest control practices, maintain its facility in a sanitary condition and undergo routine inspections to ensure continued compliance.