updated 3/18/2008 1:36:44 PM ET 2008-03-18T17:36:44

Herbal supplement pills found in a family’s fish fillets, leading to a multistate recall, were put there after the food was purchased, but without criminal intent, federal authorities said Tuesday.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ended its investigation into the pills found last month by a Pennsylvania family, spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek said. The agency decided not to seek criminal charges, she said.

Gorton’s Inc., the Gloucester, Mass.-based manufacturer, recalled about 1,000 cases of its 6 Crispy Battered Fish Fillets after Tracy Rowan reported that both she and her 9-year-old daughter discovered the pills in their mouths as they ate dinner. They were not sickened.

A phone message left Tuesday for Rowan was not immediately returned. She said previously that her daughter prepared the food, but that the girl was adamant that she did not alter the fillets. Rowan also has said the pills did not match any medicine in her home.

Kwisnek declined to say who did the tampering and what makes authorities sure it occurred after purchase.

Kwisnek said the Feb. 24 incident was not the fault of Gorton’s or Giant, the grocery store where the food was purchased.

Jud Reis, spokesman for Gorton’s, said the company was briefed on the results of the investigation by the FDA and FBI, but referred questions to the agencies.

“We’re pleased that the FDA has closed its investigation, which concluded that this was a tampering incident, isolated to one family in Pennsylvania, and which occurred after the consumers purchased the product,” Reis said.

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