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No Labels on Vacuum-Packed Crabs and Clams

Lancaster, PA isn’t close to any salt water, but the Chesapeake Crab Connection has worked up a solid retail restaurant business that apparently qualifies as a seafood processing facility.

And as a seafood processor, Chesapeake Crab was inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Dec. 16-21.  Inspectors said they found problems involving the restaurant’s seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan, its labeling, and the company’s failure to register as required by federal law.

FDA’s focus was on Chesapeake Crab’s vacuum-packaged frozen crab cakes and its ready-to-eat steamed clams, which were both found to be “adulterated” under federal law and misbranded because they were not labeled. The Pennsylvania seafood business did not have a HACCP plan.

In an April 6 warning letter, FDA charged that the company was not monitoring the safety of water coming into contact with food and food-contact surfaces because there were no backflow prevention devices on hoses equipped with pressure nozzles.

FDA also said Chesapeake Crab failed to monitor for potential cross-contamination because employees preparing vacuum-packaged frozen crab were not wearing hair and beard covers.

The warning letter says better sanitation control records must be maintained, and all products must be labeled, as required by law and FDA regulations.

During the inspection, FDA found that food allergens in Chesapeake Crab products included shellfish, soy, egg, wheat and milk. But no allergens were listed on labels.

Other recent warning letters went to Day Boat Seafood, LLC in Lake Park, FL and Sam Hak Food Corp. in Flushing, NY, which involved, respectively, finfish and fish cake products.

In a March 25 warning letter to Day Boat Seafood, FDA said the company had some lapses in its paperwork with no signatures on trip tickets, receiving documents and sanitation logs.

It also found that some of Day Boat Seafood’s “corrective actions” for handling certain “poison forming” and “toxin forming” species were insufficient.  The Florida seafood processor handles a wide variety of fish, including barracuda, grouper, mackerel, mahi mahi, tigerfish and wahoo.

In a March 31 warning letter to Sam Hak in Flushing, FDA said the company did not have a seafood HACCP plan for its fish cakes, as required by law.

Each seafood processor was given 15 working days to respond to FDA with specifics on how it plans to correct the violations.

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