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FDA Unhappy with Seafood Processor

The seafood products at Chaur Fong Inc., include ready-to-eat GIAI PHAT featherback fish “balls,”  “cakes,” and “loafs” and cooked seafood products such as HA GAO shrimp dumplings and frozen Featherback Fish Paste.

And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finds all of them are adulterated.

FDA issued a recently released “Warning Letter” to South El Monte, CA-based Chaur Fong, which does business as 888 Food Company, on Nov. 30th.   It follows an Aug. 12-19, 2009 FDA inspection of the seafood processing facility.

FDA acknowledges the seafood processor responded to findings from the inspection in letters of Aug. 31 and Oct. 27, 2009, but the agency found those responses to be “inadequate.”

“Your responses do not present data or information to support your stated concerns,” wrote James P. Stumpff, acting director of FDA’s compliance branch in Irvine, CA.

FDA found the Chaur Fong products to be adulterated because it does not have a seafood Hazard, Analysis, and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan that complies with federal law and regulations.

Chaur Fong’s HACCP plan must provide adequate control of the hazard “C botulinum,” which could lead to deadly botulism poisoning if not controlled.

FDA is also concerned about the food safety hazard of sulfites in its shrimp dumplings.

Other concerns included water, proper hand washing by employees, and preventing cross-contamination.  FDA inspectors observed two employees with goatees that were not wearing beard covers and a third employee wearing an uncovered bracelet that was coming into contact with raw fish loaf.

The company has 15 working days to respond to FDA’s concerns.

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