Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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DA O’Malley Announces $30K Settlement with C&F Foods, Inc.

OAKLAND, CA - Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley today announced that C&F Foods, Inc., a food distributor and packager, entered into a stipulated judgment to resolve labeling and slack-fill packaging violations in “Sunny Select” brand instant rice products. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office also joined in bringing this consumer protection action.

The complaint involved Sunny Select instant rice products packaged by C&F Foods and sold in certain retail stores throughout California until July 2012.

Staff from the Alameda County District Attorney's Office volunteering at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, March 2015.

The complaint alleged that these rice products were packaged in rectangular cardboard boxes that contained non-functional slack fill, that is, empty space in a package that is filled to substantially less than its capacity.

Additionally, the “Sunny Select ‘Instant Brown Rice’” product bore labels suggesting that there were more servings, by volume, of dry rice product than were actually contained in the product boxes.

The action was filed in Alameda County. The judgment includes an injunction that prohibits C&F Foods from, among other things, selling any private label rice products manufactured for sale at Save Mart or Lucky stores that contains non-functional slack-fill in violation of the relevant statutes. C&F Foods also must pay $19,828 in civil penalties and investigative costs. Additionally, C&F Foods agreed to contribute a total of $10,000 worth of food to the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Redwood Empire Food Bank.

District Attorney Nancy E.O’Malley said, “We are pleased we were able to reach a settlement that will positively impact the lives of those in Alameda County and beyond who rely on the aid of food banks.

"For every dollar donated to the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Redwood Empire Food Bank, they are able to distribute $6 worth of food. With this settlement, it will enable the food banks to provide food to hundreds of those in our communities who need it most,” DA O'Malley said.

The investigation was conducted in large part by the Weights and Measures sections of the Departments of Agriculture of both Alameda and Sonoma Counties.

Posted on Apr 24, 2015