New York Agriculture & Markets Law
Seizure and Quarantine
Whenever the commissioner or his duly authorized representative shall find distributed, offered or exposed for sale within this state, a food or food product which is unfit or unsafe for use as food, and its condemnation is required to protect the public health, he may seize, destroy or denature such product so that it cannot thereafter be used for food. Whenever the commissioner finds, or has probable cause to believe, that any food or food product is adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this article, he may affix to such food or food product a tag or other appropriate marking, giving notice that such food or food product is, or is suspected of being, adulterated or misbranded and has been quarantined, and warning all persons not to remove or dispose of such food or food product by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by the commissioner or his duly authorized representative. It shall be a violation of this article for any person to remove or dispose of such quarantined food or food product by sale or otherwise without such permission. Before destruction of a food or food product following seizure or quarantine, the commissioner shall give the owner, proprietor or custodian of such food or food product ten days’ notice in writing, to be served either personally or by mail, of a hearing for said owner, proprietor or custodian to show cause why such food or food product should not be destroyed in accordance with the provisions of law. Following such hearing, the commissioner shall make a determination in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The determination of the commissioner may be reviewed in the manner provided by article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, and such determination shall be final unless within thirty days from the date of service of a copy thereof upon the owner, proprietor or custodian a court proceeding is instituted to review such determination. Whenever, following seizure or quarantine, a food or food product is found to be unfit or unsafe for use as food, the destruction and disposition of such food or food product, as well as any necessary storage, handling, or other incidentals between the time of seizure or quarantine and the destruction and disposition thereof, shall be the responsibility, both financially and otherwise, of the owner or other person having custody of such food or food product; provided, however, that such destruction and disposition shall be carried out only under the direction and immediate supervision of the commissioner or his duly authorized representative. Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the commissioner or his duly authorized representative from destroying and disposing of such food or food product found to be unfit or unsafe, where such procedure is warranted.