A federal judge shut down a Listeria-plagued fish-processing facility in Brooklyn, NY, on Monday. U.S. District Court Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf was not persuaded by the changing company names, players, or even their last-minute appeals to introduce new evidence. She signed a permanent injunction, closing the troubled Chester Street seafood-processing facility. It was a big win for government attorneys and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Previously the business name for the Chester Street facility was NY Fish. More recent operations at that location were under the name New York City Fish Inc., but the problem remained the same. In the six years prior to the current civil filing, FDA investigators had collected 48 fish and environmental samples at the facility. FDA officials had warned the seafood processor about the persistent presence of the potentially deadly pathogen in the facility as long as four years ago. “Based on the most recent FDA inspection, however, it is apparent that L. monocytogenes continues to reside in your facility,” Ronald M. Pace, FDA’s New York district director, wrote in a 2010 warning letter to the company. “Once established in a production area, humans or machinery can facilitate the pathogen’s movement to and contamination of food-contact surfaces and finished product,” Pace added. “These repeat findings of environmental and finished product positives demonstrate an inability to adequately clean and sanitize the facility and correct the practices that lead to the contamination of finished product with L. monocytogenes.” But those problems persisted, according to microbiologist Christine E. Keys, who is assigned to FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). For the court, she complied the entire record of Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) files for the Chester Street seafood facility sent to FDA laboratories for analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) images. Keys showed the facility continued to turn out L. monocytogenes-contaminated smoked salmon from slicer blades, cutting and cleaning room floors and walls, drain covers and rinse areas that were all found with Listeria in the court action. “In total, “ she said. “forty-eight L. mono-positive isolates were found in samples collected by FDA investigators from 2006 to 2012.” At various times, the seafood facility has produced mackerel and herring, in addition to smoked salmon. Government attorneys asked for the permanent injunction after FDA found unsanitary conditions continued at the seafood-processing plant during a February 2013 inspection. It was at about the same time that NY Fish became New York City Fish, but FDA was not persuaded that conditions had changed at the Brooklyn facility. It pursued the civil legal action against the companies and Maxim Kutsyk, Pavel Roytkov and Leonard Staroseletsky. The parties agreed to a bench trial, which was held last summer by Judge Mauskopf, a former federal prosecutor appointed to the federal bench by former President George W. Bush. Her decision was somewhat delayed by post-trial requests by the fish processors to introduce post-trial evidence, which were eventually denied. NY Fish and its last known president, Steven Koyfman, were listed as “non-appearing” defendants in the case. The judge ordered U.S. attorneys to deliver her order to those defendants. They found Koyfman had eight addresses in the past 12 years, and they sent copies to all of them. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. The illness primarily impacts pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems.