The Meiko Food Company Inc., True World Food Boston, LLC, and Able Cold Storage and Trucking are the latest seafood processors to receive warning letters after federal food inspectors visited their facilities.
Copies of the warning letters were made public last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Meiko Food, located in South El Monte, CA, underwent inspection last Aug.10-19 and was the subject of a Nov. 10 warning letter. FDA gave no explanation for the delay in making the letter pubic.
Meiko Food makes fish paste and ready-to-eat pasteurized fish balls, which FDA said were adulterated.
The South El Monte seafood processor responded to FDA’s inspection findings in an Aug. 31 letter. It reported replacing cutting boards and strip curtains that inspectors had objected to, but FDA said it did not receive any evidence that other concerns it had were corrected.
For example, FDA said Meiko Food lacked a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plan (HACCP) plan for its raw fish paste to control the food safety hazards of Clostridium botulinum, metal and allergens.
Federal inspectors are also concerned about the lack of pest control in the seafood processing facility. Flies were observed coming into contact with the fish paste and there was a slug on the Hobart mixer, the FDA reported.
Also inspectors said they found black spots and yellow stains on tubs, a lawn and garden sprayer being used to hold bleach that was used on processing equipment, and the hose used to rinse processing equipment lacked a backflow device.
FDA had numerous other concerns about Meiko Foods, including its record keeping, monitoring practices and the adequacy of its HACCP plan.
Across the country in Boston, True World Food Boston, LLC operates a seafood processing facility for raw refrigerated fluke, Nigiri and sushi products. It was inspected last Oct. 4, 5, 13 and 27.
In a March 25 warning letter, FDA told True World its fish products are adulterated due to significant violations of HACCP and Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
Those violations included:
— Parasites were not listed as a food hazard in the HACCP plan.
— The HACCP plan stated that the company would move product to a second cooler if there was a problem in finished product storage, but the processor does not have a second cooler.
FDA’s warning letter to True World also included recommendations for how the Boston processor should structure its HACCP plan.
In Newport, MN, Able Cold Storage and Trucking owns a seafood processing facility that turns out smoked uneviscerated fish, smoked ground crayfish, and smoked shrimp. The facility was inspected last Oct. 29 to Nov. 15.
Two violations caused FDA to deem its fish products to be adulterated. They were:
— A hazard analysis had not been performed for the uneviscerated fish.
— A HACCP plan had not been completed for its smoked ground crayfish or smoked shrimp.
FDA’s warning letter went out to the Minnesota fish processor on March 28.