A seafood importing and processing company in Los Angeles, CA, has been ordered to cease operations until it can institute safe manufacturing practices. The permanent injunction was announced Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
After a 2012 recall of “improperly eviscerated” fish from the L.A. Star Seafood Company Inc., FDA inspectors found Listeriacontamination and other problems at facilities operated by the company in 2013 and 2014. The problems stemmed from insufficiently cleaned surfaces and utensils used to process, pack and distribute smoked and salt-cured seafood, FDA stated.
A warning letter the agency sent the company on June 14, 2013, indicated that, among other concerns, inadequate hazard analysis and HACCP plans meant that histamine formation could occur in exposed mackerel during unrefrigerated processing steps and that pathogenic bacteria growth could be present in finished products during the processing and cold storage steps.
The company responded that it planned to fix the cited problems, but FDA found the proposed timeframes unacceptable. The agency stated that a followup inspection in 2014 found that the facility’s operations still did not comply with federal regulations.
A consent decree signed March 26 by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald states that the company, owned by Sam and Sima Goldring, will not continue operations until FDA determines that it can meet food safety requirements.