106-125. Detention of product or article suspected of being adulterated or misbranded.

(a) Whenever a duly authorized agent of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services finds or has probable cause to believe, that any food, drug, device, cosmetic or consumer commodity is adulterated, or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent within the meaning of this Article or is in violation of G.S. 106-131 or 106-135 of this Article, he shall affix to such article a tag or other appropriate marking giving notice that such 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 such article by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by such agent or the court. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or dispose of such detained or embargoed article by sale or otherwise without such permission.

(b) When an article detained or embargoed under subsection (a) has been found by such agent to be adulterated, or misbranded or to be in violation of G.S. 106-131 or 106-135 of this Article, he shall petition a judge of the district, or superior court in whose jurisdiction the article is detained or embargoed for an order for condemnation of such article. When such agent has found that an article so detained or embargoed is not adulterated or misbranded, he shall remove the tag or other marking.

(c) If the court finds that a detained or embargoed article is adulterated or misbranded, such article shall, after entry of the decree, be destroyed at the expense of the claimant thereof, under the supervision of such agent; and all court costs and fees, and storage and other proper expenses, shall be taxed against the claimant of such article or his 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 such costs, fees, and expenses have been paid and a good and sufficient bond, conditioned that such article shall be so labeled or processed, has been executed, may by order direct that such article be delivered to the claimant thereof for such labeling or processing under the supervision of an agent of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The expense of such supervision shall be paid by the claimant. Such bond shall be returned to the claimant of the article on representation to the court by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that the article is no longer in violation of this Article, and that the expenses of such supervision have been paid.

(d) Whenever any duly authorized agent of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall find in any room, building, vehicle of transportation or other structure, any meat, seafood, 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, the same being hereby declared to be a nuisance, the agent shall forthwith condemn or destroy the same, or in any other manner render the same unsalable as human food. (1939, c. 320, s. 6; 1973, c. 108, s. 53; 1975, c. 614, ss. 7-9; 1997-261, s. 109.)