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Rodney Sparks Charged With Selling Meat Pulled From Grocery Store Dumpsters

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WASHINGTON -- A Maryland man is facing criminal charges for allegedly selling putrid meat that he pulled from grocery store waste receptacles in his Northern Virginia store.

The Gazette details the rather disgusting food story involving Rodney L. Sparks -- one that might increase the appeal of a vegetarian diet:

F.C. Lamneck, an enforcement officer with Virginia’s Office of Meat and Poultry Services, who signed the complaint, described the meat as “temperature abused, freezer burned, putrid, decomposed, unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, and [appearing to be] unfit for human consumption,” according to the criminal complaint.

Lamneck found the meat packages, which he told Sparks were "misbranded, uninspected and appeared to be altered," on Feb. 2 in a store Sparks was operating at 654 W. 11 St. in Front Royal, with labels from grocery stores in the Front Royal area, including Food Lion, Weis and Safeway, according to the complaint. The packages were traced to a Food Lion in Berryville, Va. The meat was identified by a manager as originally being from the Food Lion, documents state.

The Front Royal Police Department arrested Sparks on March 1.

Sparks was arraigned on Monday and is facing a sentence of one to five years in jail for each of the 10 felony counts of distribution of uninspected products filed against him.

According to Warren County court records, Sparks is out on bail and has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Sept. 18.

The name of Sparks' Virginia store, according to the Northern Virginia Daily: "Rodney's Discount Foods Clearance, Scratch and Dents."

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