An importer in Southern California is on notice from the FDA for failing to take required steps to assure that the smoked salmon and mackerel it brings into the U.S. have been produced in accordance with food safety regulations.
Staff from the Food and Drug Administration inspected the Van Nuys, CA, location of B&I Overseas Trading Inc. on March 21 and discovered the “significant violation,” according to an April 26 warning letter made public in recent days by the FDA.
“… you do not have or have not implemented written verification procedures, product specifications, and an affirmative step for ensuring that fish you import are processed in compliance with the Seafood HACCP regulation,” according to the letter sent to CEO Donata Inda by Steven E. Porter Jr., FDA’s Los Angeles district director.
Foods “prepared, packed, or held” under conditions that are in violation of the Seafood HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) are considered adulterated and not fit for sale.
“… you failed to provide adequate product specifications and an affirmative step for the following products: Salmon Cold Smoked Fillet Bit (and) Mackerel Cold Smoked Head Off,” according to the warning letter.
“We may take further action if you do not promptly correct these violations. For instance, we may take further action to refuse admission of your imported fish or fishery products, … including placing them on detention without physical examination, seize your product(s) and/or enjoin your firm from further violating the Act.”
Food companies are given 15 working days to respond to FDA warning letters. As of June 11 the agency had not posted a closeout notice regarding B&I Overseas Trading.
On its website, the company is described as “the nation’s largest importer and distributor of fine Lithuanian, other gourmet European food and beverage products.”
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