Friz-It Cold Storage Inc. advertises itself as being both “FDA/HACCP compliant” and for having the “newest, best-designed” cold storage for the fresh and frozen fish and seafood industry in the southeastern United States.
But during its most recent inspection, last July 7-13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found “serious violations” of federal food safety measures at Friz-It.
In a Nov. 10 warning letter to Friz-It, FDA said it might take additional actions if the Miami company does not promptly correct the violations. FDA could seize adulterated products and/or seek an injunction to halt operations.
The Friz-It Cold Storage facility is located 15 minutes away from Miami International Airport. It includes a 7,000 square foot freezer and a 7,000 square foot cooler. It daily produces 24,000 pounds of ice. The facility has a back-up generator of its own that kicks-in when regular power goes out.
FDA said Friz-It must:
— Implement monitoring procedures and frequencies listed in its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan, including: 24 hour continuous monitoring at the storage critical control point to control histamine formation; daily checks on accuracy of the recording thermometer; and check the accuracy of ice for fresh fish.
— Address how the problem will be handled in those instances when fresh fish with potential hazard of histamines are held at too high temperatures.
In its seafood HACCP, Friz-It says “If temperature exceeds 40 degrees F for four hours, reject lot or analyze 10 percent from the lot including fish from the portions of the lot above temperature. If one fish sample is above 50 parts per million histamine, reject lot or sub-divide lot (if practical) and retest.”
“This corrective action is inadequate because analyzing 10 percent of the lot does not ensure that fish that were temperature abused were not introduced into commerce,” FDA said.
“Accordingly,” FDA added, “your scombroid fish, canned pasteurize crab meat, and your fresh ready to eat crab meat are adulterated, in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.”
FDA asked Friz-It to respond within 15 working days with documentation including HACCP changes and verification records.