The Smokehouse of NY in Mamaroneck prepares and sells fish and other specialty foods to consumers across the country.
Joon H. Kim, acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Melinda Plaisier, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the filing of a complaint and consent decree for violations of food safety regulations.
Defendants are named as Smokehouse of New York LLC (Smokehouse); Brett Portier, director of operations and Panagiota Soublis, president and owner.
Kim said the action holds the firm accountable and requires them to clean up their operations.
“We will not let businesses put profits over public health. Smokehouse, Portier, and Soublis have repeatedly put their customers at risk of severe illness.”
The complaint filed in White Plains federal court states the FDA has repeatedly found Listeria in the facility.
Although the defendants proposed corrective measures to address problems, they have failed to fix them as an FDA inspection between March 8 and April 5 this year found Listeria at various locations, including a stainless steel table where food is processed and on a plastic tray used interchangeably to hold raw and finished products, it added.
The Smokehouse of NY recalled smoked fish in April this year after a routine inspection sampling program revealed Listeria in the warehouse.
Plaisier said it has had several opportunities to come into compliance with the law.
“Through the use of modern technology, the FDA was able to establish that the company has resident strains of Listeria in its facility that it has consistently failed to eradicate.”
At each of five inspections by FDA between 2011 and 2015, the agency found Listeria in the facility, including on a food-contact surface and in packaged, ready-to-eat food.
Following inspections, the defendants took corrective actions they said would address conditions found by investigators but the latest inspection showed this had not been sufficient.
Smokehouse, Portier and Soublis cannot receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold and/or distribute food until they clean and sanitize the facility; implement pathogen control and other food safety plans and training programs on food hygiene and sanitation for employees.
The consent decree also requires the defendants to destroy processed food currently in stock and recall certain items previously sold.