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Posted June 5, 2012 | comments 17 Comments

Md. man accused of trying to resell Dumpster meat

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

A Maryland man faces 10 counts of offering adulterated and misbranded meat for sale from a small store in Front Royal after he was indicted Monday in Warren County Circuit Court.

The criminal complaint against Rodney L. Cole Sparks of Monrovia, Md. accuses him of plucking packages of unsold food from a Food Lion Dumpster in Berryville and trying to resell them.

A state food inspector described the meat Sparks was trying to sell as "temperature abused, freezer burned, putrid, decomposed, unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome and (appearing) unfit for human food," according to a criminal complaint accompanying the indictment.

The 10 counts against Sparks list separate dates for the offenses spanning a period from Aug. 19 to Jan. 29. The store location at which the meat was allegedly on sale is listed as 654 W. 11th St., Front Royal, on the criminal complaint.

The store at that location is marked by a sign identifying it as "Rodney's Discount Foods Clearance, Scratch and Dents." The store was closed Tuesday afternoon. A sign in the window listed business hours from Thursday through Sunday.

The criminal complaint signed by F.C. Lamneck, an enforcement officer with the state's Office of Meat and Poultry Services in Harrrisonburg, lists an additional date, Feb. 2, during which Lamneck "observed in a retail self-serve freezer numerous packages of retail packaged meat being offered for sale."

The complaint states that Lamneck found the meat packages bearing labels from Food Lion, Weis, Bottom Dollar, Blooms and Safeway.

The complaint states that Lamneck told Sparks that the meat was "misbranded, uninspected and appeared adulterated."

The complaint states that Lamneck used labels on some of the meat packages to trace them back to the Food Lion supermarket in Berryville. The Food Lion manager there identified the meat packages as originally from his store, according to the complaint.

The complaint also states that "a couple" of store employees recognized Sparks and his vehicle "on numerous dates" and noticed him removing "Food Lion food items and other products from the Food Lion dumpster."

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp scheduled Sparks' arraignment for Aug. 6.

17 Comments | Leave a comment

    All meat is unhealthy for human consumption. It doesn't have to come from a dumpster. Eat lower on the food chain and you will avoid the diseases that are associated with eating animal flesh and by-products.

    Do the research and you might be amazed how the excess protein being consumed is contributing to health problems today. The U.S. leads the world in heart disease, cancer and obesity: it's time to "make the connection".

    In the meanwhile, the cost of health care continues to soar. There is plenty of documentation about the benefits of going vegetarian. Check it out!

    Disgusting! Diana is right. The arsenic and insecticides on fruits and veggies is great for your skin and vital organs. Go vegetarian!

      Try to buy veggies locally (and organic) when possible. Also learn how to properly clean food and you'll still be healthier than eating animal flesh. As someone recently said, "Haven't heard of Mad Broccoli disease yet".

      Antibiotics and growth hormones fed to animals certainly would concern me more then anything they could put on a vegetable. That's in addition to the saturated fat which makes a deadly combo regardless of how much you eat.

      Personally the hellish conditions and treatment that animals must endure bothers me even more than the health risk. So how much cruelty can you stomach? Obviously the suffering of others is no major concern for some.

      Skidplate what is bologna? Must be something like the mystery meat called hot dogs. Maybe YOU need to get educated too before it's too late.

        I haven't heard of mad cow broccoli but I have heard of ecoli lettuce...a few times.

        While I respect a person's decision to be a vegetarian and I absolutely hate the mistreatment of animals, there are risks with improperly handled vegetables as well. There have been several recent recalls due salmonella in green onions and spinach, e.coli in lettuce as well as listeria in cantaloupe. All of those could result in illness or even death in an immunocompromised person. Organic meats are an option.

          Our food supply is certainly in question. When I clean vegetables, I usually use vinegar in the water. Unfortunately Salmonella is also found in chickens and e.coli in beef. So try to buy locally and know who is producing what.

          If you do any research about most of the meat supply in this country, you will learn the horrors of Factory Farming. Animals are standing knee deep in their own waste: this great love affair with the almighty hamburger has been directly linked to e.coli due to these deplorable conditions. Ground beef is the most unhealthy of all.

          Today's Factory Farming goes beyond mistreatment - it's the most ungodly, horrific means of putting profit over any animal welfare - ever. The stress level for animals living in overcrowded, filthy holding zones makes them sick. These living breathing creatures deserve better. It's WRONG!

          Animals use to have, at least, some kind of normal life in previous generations, grazing on grass and moving freely. Now most animals never see the light of day, living in misery until they are slaughtered. So to quickly fatten up animals, they are fed an unnatural diet of corn, given growth hormones and antibiotics (to keep bacteria down).

          All of this is being passed on to you - the consumer. Wonder what it does to the growing child?

          Puberty is starting earlier, obesity is on the rise, and diabetes as well as other diseases are affecting children at an alarming rate. Why are there so many autistic children? Why are so many kids on prescription drugs these days? What's going on?

          Traditional farmers have been run out of the business and replaced by corporations that have worked secretly for decades without any limitations or oversight. That's just starting to change thanks to Mercy For Animals and others who are now exposing the corruption.

          Regardless if you choose to eat animals or not, these animal factories should be closed down. Unfortunately every time you buy their products, you are voting for the mistreatment of animals and making these corporations richer than ever.

    I think the stores should also be held negligent for allowing animals like this access to their trash containers.

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    I'm just wondering why hes still open for business? Is it OK for him to keep poisoning people until hes found guilty of the charge???

    I know there's a definite stigma on the thought of doing it, but expiration dates on most supermarket items err heavily on the side of caution...

    Supermarkets waste TONS of food every year tossing things in the dumpster that are edible.

    This does NOT mean that I think it is okay for people to fish it out of the dumpster and attempt to resell it, and I would certainly be scared of any meat that has been unrefrigerated for extended periods of time, but...

    Saw a TV special on a family that gets most of their food out of a Trader Joe's dumpster... They eventually were able to convince SOME grocery chains to work with local soup kitchens to give the food to them rather than just pitch it in the dumpster...

    LOL!! I don't know where I'm going with this anymore, so have a good one everybody!! :-)

    Diana, meat is not unhealthy for consumption, moderation in "everything", food, drink, exercise, medication, supplements of all types, etc.

    Lack of education, health insurance, and poverty have more to do with poor health and obesity than meat.

    And I just discovered Oscar Mayer has an excellent "garlic" flavored bologna.

    So the police watched the guy selling putrid meat for 6 months? Wasn't there a concern that people would die?

    I and my entire family have been shopping at this guys store since he opened, well over a year. Not ONCE have any of us gotten sick, and only on one occasion have we ever gotten meat that wasn't any good. Which he fully refunded us for, by the way.
    I'd rather be giving my money to a man who sells me dumpster meat than to a greedy corporation who doesn't give a lick about your health.

    Also, shopping here is the only way I could afford to even eat decent food.
    >Too poor to afford groceries
    >Not poor enough to get government funded meals.

    #Free Rodney!

    Poverty and Greed are a Dangerous Mix.


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