The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says a California seafood importer and processor has agreed to shut down its operations while it corrects conditions in its processing facility, which is alleged to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


The FDA said in a statement Wednesday that Yamaya USA of Torrance, CA and its president, Daigo Irifune, agreed to terms of a consent decree on April 5. Under the agreement, the company must destroy all foods being processed or ready for shipment and clean and sanitize the facility. It cannot resume marketing its seafood until laboratory results confirm no further L. mono contamination.


The FDA said the firm must also hire a sanitation and food safety expert to develop and implement a Listeria monitoring program and a hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) plan. It must hire an outside auditor to conduct inspections of the facility at least once every three months for three years and once every year for two years after that, for a total of five years of auditing inspections.

In October, 2011, Yamaha USA recalled capelin roe, or masago, after tests by the FDA revealed the roe was contaminated with Listeria.

The company received a warning letter from the FDA in July, 2011 that detailed what the agency described as food safety law violations, including an inadequate HACCP plan. 

Listeria causes nearly 2,500 cases of listeriosis per year in the United States, and is especially threatening during pregnancy and for individuals with compromised immune systems.