An Illinois fish market that sells fresh fish from the Mississippi River and frozen imported seafood to the Chicago area and elsewhere has failed to respond to federal inspectors regarding food safety violations observed in January.
Kirby Marsden, owner of Quality Fisheries — doing business as The Niota Fish Market — has serious violations at his business in Niota, IL, according to an April 10 warning letter recently made public by the Food and Drug Administration.
“… your buffalo fish are adulterated in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” according to the FDA warning letter.
During a Jan. 17-26 inspection FDA staff observed problems including inadequate record keeping, no hand washing facilities in the portable toilet used by employees, dirty gloves left on food-contact surfaces and inadequate refrigeration monitoring and control.
Inspectors also cited Marsden for not having an annually signed copy of the company’s seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which is required by federal law.
“The last time the HACCP plan for buffalo fish was signed was on ‘12-8-97’ ” according to the warning letter.
According to the Noita Fish Market website, Marsden bought the business in the early 1990s.
“At the Niota Fish Market, about a dozen employees, receive whole, often live fish, from commercial fishermen,” according to the company’s website. “The fish are cleaned, then sold fresh at the store, trucked to Chicago and other markets, smoked or frozen. Imports of frozen seafood are received at the Niota Fish Market, held in reefers, then sold at wholesale or retail.”
As of Sunday, the FDA had not posted a close out letter on the warning letter dated April 10. Marsden had 15 working days to respond to the April 10 letter. If his response does not satisfy the requirements of federal law, FDA could take action.
“We may take further action if you do not promptly correct these violations. For instance, we may take further action to seize your product(s) and/or enjoin your firm from operating,” according to the warning letter.