By Surae Chinn
Front Royal, VA (WUSA/CNN) - A Virginia store owner accused of not just selling expired meat, but dumpster diving to get it.
"I eat the food that I sell," said store owner Rodney Sparks.
Sparks was arrested and charged for selling bad meat.
[Reporter]: "An inspector came to your store and they said the meat was freezer burned, putrid, decomposed, unsound, unhealthful."
"I'd say that they didn't know what they're doing," said Sparks.
He says the inspectors were the ones who mishandled the meat, and took us into his scratch and dent discount store.
"I mean, I sell milk for $3.50 a gallon. It's current. It's fresh. I don't hide any dates from anybody and I stand behind it," said Sparks.
Inside he sells what commercial businesses would throw away because boxes were damaged or the meat's sell by date is about to expire.
The Bob Evans breakfast sausage has a June 2012 sell by date.
"Once it's frozen, there is no expiration date on it," said Sparks.
That's true. The Food and Drug Administration has no regulation on the sell by date, with the exception of infant formula and Grade A dairy.
Sparks says he's trying to run a business and help the poor.
"I'm not interested in getting rich. I want to help people," said Sparks.
"It really helps the community. For people like me who's not working and they have families around here," said customer Louise Barnett.
[Reporter]: "What about the meat?"
"I ain't never had no issue with the meat," said Barnett.
[Reporter]: "This is June 9th. You're okay with that?"
"Yeah," she said.
Court papers say grocery employees saw Sparks removing food from the dumpster. As for that accusation, Sparks says he was dumpster diving but only for dozens of cats he takes care of at his Monrovia, Maryland home.
[Reporter]: "You've never gone dumpster diving for meat?"
"No," said Sparks.
He faces 10 counts of selling bad meat. His next court appearance is in September.