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FDA Warns Seafood Processors Over HACCP Plans

Seafood processing facilities located in New Mexico and Ohio were found with serious violations of the federal seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

The two companies, Above Sea Level in Santa Fe, and Rohr Fish Inc. in Toledo, received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the HACCP violations.

Vacuum packaged and pasteurized canned crabmeat, fresh yellowtail and ono or wahoo fish being processed at Above Sea Level are adulterated, according to FDA.   The agency said there was an HACCP plan for the canned crabmeat that would prevent pathogen growth and toxin formation.

Vacuum-packed seafood is susceptible to botulism poisoning through the growth of Clostridium botulinum.

In an Aug. 13 warning letter to the Santa Fe fish processor, FDA said the company’s monitoring procedures and record keeping were insufficient.

HACCP planning at the Rohr Fish in Toledo also came up short.   The Ohio processor turns out canned pasteurized crabmeat, vacuum-packed smoked fish, both histamine forming and non-histamine forming fish, and ready to eat seafood salad and dip products.

FDA said the company did not have a critical control points for temperatures for either the vacuum packed smoked fish and the ready-to-eat salads and dips.  FDA recommended continuous monitoring of refrigerated products, including during transit by delivery trucks.

Rohr Fish operates from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and for a half day on Saturdays.   It is closed on Sundays, and holidays.   The warning letter said Rohr’s cooler is not equipped with continuous temperature monitoring, and intermittent monitoring might not prevent unsafe temperatures from occurring.

FDA said Rohr did respond to its inspection, but failed to documentation of how it would correct its HACCP plan.

Above Sea Level and Rohr Fish Inc. reportedly have sales under $5 million a year, according to business tracking services.

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