Title 21
Food and Drugs

Chapter 31
Rhode Island Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-31-6

§ 21-31-6. Embargoed articles — Condemnation and destruction.

(a) Whenever a duly authorized agent of the director of health finds or has probable cause to believe that any food, drug, device, or cosmetic is adulterated, or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent, within the meaning of this chapter, the agent shall affix to that article a tag or other appropriate marking, giving notice that the article is, or is suspected of being, adulterated or misbranded and has been detained or embargoed, and warning all persons not to remove or dispose of the article by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by the agent or the court. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or dispose of a detained or embargoed article by sale or otherwise without permission.

(b) When an article detained or embargoed under subsection (a) of this section has been found by the agent to be adulterated or misbranded, the agent shall petition the proper judge of the court in whose jurisdiction the article is detained or embargoed for a label for condemnation of the article. When the agent has found that an article so detained or embargoed is not adulterated or misbranded, he or she shall remove the tag or other marking.

(c) If the court finds that a detained or embargoed article is adulterated or misbranded, the article shall, after entry of the decree, be destroyed at the expense of the claimant of the article, under the supervision of the agent, and all court costs and fees, and storage and other proper expenses, shall be taxed against the claimant of the article or the claimant’s agent; provided, that when the adulteration or misbranding can be corrected by proper labeling or processing of the article, the court, after entry of the decree and after costs, fees, and expenses have been paid and a good and sufficient bond, conditioned that the article shall be so labeled or processed, has been executed, may by order direct that the article be delivered to the claimant of it for labeling or processing under the supervision of an agent of the director of health. The expense of the supervision shall be paid by the claimant. The article shall be returned to the claimant of the article on representation to the court by the director of health that the article is no longer in violation of this chapter, and that the expenses of the supervision have been paid.

(d) Whenever the director of health or any of the director’s authorized agents shall find in any room, building, vehicle of transportation, or other structure, any meat, sea food, poultry, vegetable, fruit, or other perishable articles which are unsound, or contain any filthy, decomposed, or putrid substance, or that may be poisonous or deleterious to health or otherwise unsafe, it being hereby declared to be a nuisance, the director of health or the director’s authorized agent shall immediately condemn or destroy it, or in any other manner render it unsalable as human food.

History of Section.
P.L. 1959, ch. 56, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 6.