November 13, 2009

1 Min Read
FDA Moves Against Seafood Company

WASHINGTONThe U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the FDA, has filed a complaint for permanent injunction against seafood processor Haifa Smoked Fish Inc. of Jamaica, N.Y., and two of its top officers for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

If the court grants the injunction requested by the government, the company, which processes and distributes brined, cold-smoked, and hot-smoked fish and fishery products, would stop the manufacture, distribution, and sale of its products, unless it has implemented measures to correct unsanitary conditions and control the pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes at the Haifa Smoked Fish facility. FDA samples taken during the inspections revealed that food products and environmental surfaces, including food-contact surfaces, were contaminated with L. monocytogenes. The defendants also continually failed to comply with FDAs Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

This company has consistently failed to make corrections to improve the insanitary conditions under which it processes smoked fish products, despite frequent warnings to do so, said Michael Chappell, the FDAs acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.  The FDA will not tolerate food companies that fail to provide adequate safeguards to protect the public.

Prior to taking this action, FDA issued warning letters to Haifa Smoked Fish (in 2001 and 2004). Company officers promised to correct the violations, but subsequent inspections showed no corrections were made.

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