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FDA Warns Two Spanish Canned Food Facilities

Two low-acid canned food facilities in Spain, inspected in February by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have recently received warning letters about their operations.

Industrias Alimentarias De Navarra, S.A.U., based in Villafranco Navarra northeast of Madrid, received a warning letter from FDA on May 27 about its canned black olives.  Then in a June 16 warning letter to Cruz Perez Hermanos, S.A., located in Moana Pontevedra near Spain’s west coast, FDA expressed concerns about Octopus in Oil.

FDA told both companies their imports to the United States could be impacted if they do not take prompt corrective action.  FDA has the power to list foreign food manufacturers in its “Import Alert,” and detain their products at the border.

FDA told De Navarra, which produces black olives, that it must determine and record temperatures during processing.  It also asked the company to improve its methods for temperature process deviations.

Hermanos, S.A., which makes Octopus in Oil, was also told its product is “adulterated” because of violations of low-acid canned food regulations.  FDA called out the company for:

-not providing process information.

-failing to use a mercury-in-glass (MIG) thermometer.

-failing to determine and record temperatures.

-no written record to visual observations.

Spain is one of the USA’s top trading partners.  The worldwide economic crunch led to a 29.1 percent decline in Spain’s exports to the U.S during 2009 when the total reached $7.9 billion.  The food sector that includes the Olives and Octopus being shipped by these two companies approached $300 million.

Spain imported goods worth $8.8 billion from the United States during 2009 for a trade surplus of about $900 million.

FDA gives foreign companies 30 days to respond to warning letters, and asks that responses be provided in English.

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