Warning letters sent to two US seafood firms

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Hazard analysis and critical control points

FDA warning letters sent based on HACCP
FDA warning letters sent based on HACCP
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters to two seafood firms for violations found after investigations.

The letters were sent to James L. Kangas, owner of Dr Gumbo's New Orleans Cuisine on 21 March and Roshan De Silva, owner and president of Sri Lankan Delight on 19 March.

Both firms were cited for violations in relation to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation.

Missing revised HACCP plan

Dr Gumbo's New Orleans Cuisine replied to initial findings with a 26 February letter but the latest warning from the FDA states that a revised HACCP plan was not provided in response to three areas.

The first violation was in relation to the HACCP plan for Crawfish Julie Sauce, Shrimp and Okra Gumbo, Shrimp and Corn Soup, Shrimp Creole, Shrimp Etouffee, and St Stevie Sauce not listing the critical control points of refrigerated storage for controlling the food safety hazard of pathogen survival and toxin formation.

The FDA acknowledged the firm explained they had purchased and installed a temperature data logger in the cooler and included refrigerator storage in the HACCP plan.

The second area was the fact that the firm did not have a HACCP plan for some of the products to control the food safety hazard of Clostridium botulinum.

You explain in your February 26, 2013, response you included the hazard associated with product in plastic bags in your HACCP plan. You also report you are using preprinted bags with proper frozen storage and thawing instructions​,” acknowledged the FDA.

The third finding of the February inspection was around the firm’s failure to calibrate the probe thermometer quarterly at two or more temperature points against a standard reference thermometer.

The FDA said the response failed to provide the frequency or conditions which will necessitate replacing the thermometer.

Sri Lankan Delight case

In the other case, FDA inspected the Sri Lankan Delight seafood importer in Tarzana, California from 9-29 January 2013.

“We found that you have serious violations of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation for fish and fishery products, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 123 (21 CFR Part 123),” ​outlined the letter.  

There must be evidence that all fish and fishery products offered for entry into the US have been processed under conditions detailed in the relevant legislation.  

If assurances do not exist that the imported product has been processed under conditions that are equivalent to those required, the fish or fishery products will appear to be adulterated and will be denied entry, said the FDA.

The FDA said because the inspection identified serious violations, the firm’s Maldive Fish Sambol, Wet Seeni Sambol, Katta Sambol, Seeni Sambol, Katta Sambol, Red Coconut Sambol Fried Sprats Sambol, Chili Fried Sprats, Bitter Gourd with Sprats, Ambul Thiyal Fish, Dry Seer, Dry Tuna, Dry Badun, and Dry Katta are adulterated in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions where they may have been rendered injurious to health.

“You do not have or have not implemented written verification procedures, product specifications and an affirmative step(s) for ensuring that fish you import are processed in compliance with the Seafood HACCP regulation, as required by 21 CFR Part 123.12(a)(2),”​ said the agency.

The letters warned both firms that the FDA may take further action if the violations are not corrected, such as seizing products and/or preventing the firm from operating.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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