Seafood processors in California, North Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana are recent recipients of warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for violations found during inspections.
FDA released the warnings letters, which datie back to Dec. 28, this week.
The four warning letters involve failure by the seafood processors to adhere to seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and/or Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. Here’s a brief run down on each violator:
Name: Pacific Exchange Distributors, LLC
Location: Gardena, CA
Warning Letter Date: Dec. 28, 2010
Inspection Date(s): Sept. 23-28, 2010
Products: Sushi rolls with imitation crabmeat and rice balls with tuna, salmon and mackerel.
Violations: HACCP regulations require that a seafood processor conduct a hazard analysis for each kind of fish or fish product it produces. Pacific Exchange had no plan for its sushi rolls or rice balls. Plus it sanitation conditions did not prevent cross contamination. And there were no sanitation monitoring records.
Name: Fisherman’s Catch Seafood Market
Location: Morganton, NC
Warning Letter Date: Jan. 19, 2011
Inspection Date(s): Sept. 15 and 21, 2010
Products: Tuna loins and mahi mahi
Violations: Fisherman’s HACCP plan for crabmeat did not list the critical control point of storage for controlling the food safety hazard of pathogen growth and potential toxin formation. Furthermore, its HACCP plan for mahi mahi, tuna, Amberjack, and Wahoo did not list the monitoring procedure and/or frequency of the receiving critical control point to combat histamine formation.
FDA said Fisherman’s failed to instruct employees to ice down newly received fish.
Name: Mom’s Food Products Inc.
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Warning Letter Date: Jan. 31, 2011
Inspection Date(s): July 20-29, 2010
Products: Tuna salad sandwiches (packed in modified or reduced oxygen)
Violations: Mom’s HACCP plan did not consider the possible food safety hazards of Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation; undeclared allergens; and histamines. FDA also said it feared the way oxygen is used in packaging could promote pathogen growth and toxin formation. Also, several of the ingredients used in making Mom’s tuna salad sandwiches were major food allergens.
A cooler that was not running cool enough and sanitation conditions at Mom’s were also part of FDA’s write up. Employees were observed entering the production room without washing their hands; not changing out protective sleeves when the product lines were changed out.
Name: Cajun Crab, LLC
Location: Chauvin, Louisiana
Warning Letter Date: March 11, 2011
Inspection Date(s): Nov. 3-6, 2011.
Products: Ready-to-eat crabmeat
Violations: Cajun Crab was accused of failing to perform monitoring procedures with sufficient frequency to be effective. FDA was also concerned about whether enough was being done by the company to control pathogen growth and toxin formation.
FDA was also concerned about Cajun’s corrective action plan.
All four seafood processors were given 15 days from the date of their warning letter to report the corrective steps they would take to comply with FDA’s concerns.