Seems the State of Texas isn't terribly impressed with the way Halal Import Food Market handles its meat -- and hasn't been since, oh, 2001, when the Arlington grocer-warehouse first opened its doors. Which is why Attorney General Greg Abbott's latest lawsuit against the East Pioneer Parkway-based store and distributor, and its Dallas-based owners, is less a complaint than a lengthy litany of Texas Health & Safety Code violations that date back years and include such nit-picky tsk-tsks as "numerous dead rodents, numerous rodent droppings along with gnawed materials and debris in warehouse area"; "live birds flying around warehouse and resting on food products"; and "dead birds and bird droppings on food products," yum!
The latest suit, filed last week in Tarrant County district court, stems from an incident in 2008, when a state trooper pulled over a Halal's van that didn't have front license plates. Inside, the trooper discovered a pile of 148 goat carcasses that were, to say the least, improperly stored and entirely unrefrigerated. The trooper ordered the van back to the warehouse so health inspectors could give it a more thorough once-over. Problem is, says the suit, when the van pulled into Halal's a short time later, most of the goats were missing and unaccounted for; so too "associated hearts and livers." Where did they wind up? A handful of area supermarkets, most likely.