More than a month before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, Johnson Sea Products Inc. on the Gulf Coast in Coden, AL was having a bad day or two processing its stuffed seafood products.

When an investigator from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration spent time at Johnson over a ten day period in late March, examining a lot of 30 and 35 pound bags of product he found:

-dead insects in 14 bags

-live insects in 2 bags.

-rodent excreta pellets in 1 bag.

-rodent gnaw marks on 2 bags.

The FDA investigator also found 36 rodent excreta pellets along the south wall of the raw ingredient room and a live fly in the processing room located inside a plastic tote containing clean crab shells.

The raw ingredient room also had a hole in the wall.

Johnson Sea Products Inc. received an Aug. 5 FDA warning letter about the problems at the seafood processing facility.  The company was given 15 working days to respond to the concerns of FDA’s New Orleans district.

“Accordingly, your stuffed seafood products are adulterated because they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” the warning letter says.

Johnson Sea Products is located just off the Gulf west of Mobile Bay.

Samples collect in March were sent to FDA’s Southeast Regional Laboratory for analysis.   SRL confirmed the presence of rodents and their excreta on and in multiple bags of the product.