Calif. Food Company Owner Indicted

Friday, November 10th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A food company owner was indicted in federal court Thursday for delivering turkey tainted with rodent hair and feces to schools.

U.S. Attorney Richard J. Cutler said none of the food was served, but the evidence of rodents was found by school workers as they received shipments from Fordco Foods Company of Bakersfield.

Thomas L. Ford, 52, was charged in U.S. District Court with seven counts of transporting and delivering adulterated poultry products between April 9, 1996 and April 1, 1997. Fordco warehouse manager, Jimmy Martinez, 38, was indicted on identical charges.

If convicted, both men could be sentenced to three years in jail and a $250,000 fine on each count.

The poultry was donated to schools in Bakersfield and Wasco through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program.

Cutler said the USDA no longer uses the company to deliver food.

A call seeking comment from Ford was not immediately returned.