Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

New owner may reopen fish company after food safety upgrade

sullivanharbor_406x250The federal court documents that Friday led to the mandatory closure of the Sullivan Harbor Farm smokehouse in Hancock, ME, also included  a lengthy recipe for re-opening the facility known for annually smoking as much as 75,000 pounds of Atlantic salmon.

Friday’s consent decree of permanent injunction, ordered by a federal judge, shut down Mill Stream Corp., doing business as Sullivan Harbor Farm on U.S. 1 in Maine. The injunction also prohibits the company’s former president and owner, Ira J. Frantzman, from working in the food industry. The injunction is in response to a Feb. 10 complaint by the U.S. Department of Justice at the behest of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But ahead of the Feb. 12 injunction, in late January, Sullivan Harbor Farm reportedly was sold.

“The new owner has already made most of the necessary improvements while working with a food safety expert in conjunction with FDA to improve safety, sanitation and training practices in anticipation of reopening soon, bringing award winning products back into the marketplace,” stated a Sullivan Harbor Farm post Monday on the company’s Facebook page.

It did not disclose the name of the new owner, but said whoever it is plans to “move forward with new concepts, while continuing the 25 year tradition of producing safe, tasty artisanal smoked seafood.”

Because of a 12-year history of food safety violations, the permanent injunction remains in force on all parties unless and until a series of steps are successfully taken by any new owner. These include hiring an independent laboratory with no personal or financial ties to the processing plant to monitor water and test for pathogens like Listeria.

Further, an outside expert must be retained to comply with seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. The outside authority must conduct scientific validation studies to verify processing water phase salt levels adequately control Clostridium botulinum (C. bot) hazards.

Also, adequate written Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures will be required before any re-opening. Numerous other detailed requirements include a HACCP plan that “shall effectively control food safety hazards reasonably likely to occur for each type of fish or fishery product” to be processed or handled at the facility.

Anyone seeking to reopen the facility will be required to provide employees with FDA-approved training.

The 20-year-old seafood processor is about 30 miles from Bar Harbor and was known for known for such prestigious customers as Legal Sea Foods in Boston and Dean & DeLuca In New York.


(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)

© Food Safety News