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LA Seafood Importer Not Controlling Histamines

A Los Angles tuna and wahoo fish importer is violating federal food safety regulations, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

In an Oct. 15 warning letter to Prime Time Seafood Inc., FDA said the seafood processor and importer has “serious violations” of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and other federal food safety regulations.

As a result, FDA said tuna and wahoo produced by Prime Time Seafood are adulterated as defined by the law.

Among the violations, FDA said:

  • Monitoring procedures and frequencies during storage are not adequate to control histamine formation.

  • The HACCP plan for histamine species fish is not adequate to control histamine formation during receiving.

  • The corrective action for histamine species during storage is not appropriate because it cannot be implemented.

  • The  “Lot Grading” worksheet for recording temperatures during receiving does not have enough space to record all the required temperature measurements.

  • Sanitation failures included: rough surface with gouges and the accumulation of organic residue on the cutting board used to process ready-to-eat sashimi grade yellow fin tuna; a hose used to wash product was allowed to come into contact with both the floor and a trash can rim; no detergent was used to clean food contact surfaces.

Prime Time Seafood also fell short as an importer.  FDA said the importer could not provide product specifications for fresh wahoo that it brought into the U.S. from Ecuador.  It also could not “perform affirmative steps for bluefish tuna” from Turkey to guarantee that it was HACCP compliant.

FDA said it may take further action if Prime Time Seafood does not “promptly correct these violations,” including stopping its imports at the border, seizing its products and/or enjoining the firm from further violations.

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

© Food Safety News
  • Rex Ito

    I am the owner of Prime Time Seafood. As most things in life, there are TWO sides to the story.
    What Mr. Flynn does not know, and fails to mention is that this warning letter from FDA was triggered from FDA’s FAILURE TO PROCESS Prime Time Seafood’s initial response to their annual inspection in June 2010. The timely response to FDA’s inspection was LOST or MISPLACED within the FDA, and after a few months (October) a Warning Letter was issued for non-response.
    We have since been in contact with the FDA and are far along to putting this issue to bed.
    I hope Mr. Flynn has the decency to include this correction and update in his “newsletter.”
    -Rex Ito