A trio of seafood processing facilities were cited for serious violations of federal food safety regulations and informed of the allegations in warning letters that were made public last week.

In a Feb. 9 warning letter, Florida’s Nachman’s Native Seafood, based in Redington Shores, learned its Smoked Fish Spread was found to be adulterated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA, in an inspection last Oct. 28 to Nov. 5, found Nachman’s was not monitoring sanitation conditions and practices during processing, causing concerns about cross-contamination. 

The grinder and mixer in the smoked fish processing room had a build up of organic matter on its surfaces, including switches and dials.  It had not been cleaned and sanitized, FDA said.

In addition, inspectors found that the ice storage tote had an accumulation of organic material and mildew on its inside surfaces.

Floors, walls and ceilings were not kept clean, and were not in good repair, the letter stated.  There was chipped paint in the fish filleting room and a hole adjacent to the toilet, exposing plumbing and electrical fixtures.

FDA said the Florida fish processing facility had significant violations involving record keeping and other details in its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan.

Also on Feb. 9, FDA sent a warning letter to Dean Blanchard Seafood Inc. in Grand Isle, LA.   It was one of the first sent to a fish processor in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP oil spill occurred last April through July.

Blanchard’s violations were entirely about its need to adhere to a HACCP plan. FDA said the fish processor did not maintain harvest sufficient vessel records to control scrombotoxin formation.

FDA was concerned about Blanchard’s handling of King Mackerel, Amberjack, Bar Jack, Wahoo, and mahi-mahi species, including its ability to control temperatures, and provide for cooler storage.

San Diego-based Leong Kuba Sea Products Inc. received a Feb. 16 warning letter from FDA that raised concerns about its HACCP practices, causing the company’s ready-to-eat ahi tuna and tuna sashimi, canned crabmeat, and other various seafood products to be considered adulterated.

FDA said Sea Products did not have a HACCP plan to control the food safety hazard of parasites for ready-to-eat raw salmon intended for sushi.  After an inspection last Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, the agency said it was also concerned about the potential for Clostridium botulinum growth, the toxin that can cause deadly botulism in humans, in the company’s vacuum-packed smoked salmon and smoked trout.

The three fish processors were asked to respond in writing to FDA’s concerns within 15 working days.