FDA cites Kentucky processor for numerous violations concerning paddlefish

Published on
May 9, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to a Kentucky company it claims has processed seafood in unsanitary conditions.

FDA inspected the MC Fish Company, located in Milton, Kentucky, from 20 to 23 March, and during the visit agency personnel discovered “serious violations” of the Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point regulations. 

Milton is a small town located halfway between Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to a letter Steven B. Barber – an FDA division director based in Cincinnati, Ohio – sent to company owner Michael L. Dye, the agency raised issues with the way MC Fish handled paddlefish meat and roe products. Among the most critical violations were that it failed to properly monitor the thermometer and it failed to perform verification procedures for the packaged roe refrigerator.

MC Fish purchased a continuous temperature chart recorder more than two years ago, the letter noted. However, the chart only monitored in Celsius, and company officials did not know how to convert. 

Failure to maintain the refrigerator to temperatures at or below 38 degrees Fahrenheit could lead to the spread of bacteria that cause botulism, Barber wrote. 

MC Fish also did not conduct procedures to ensure the salting process achieves at least a five percent water phase salt content. The FDA claims the company failed to have the finished product analysis done during the 2016-17 season, and a scale obtained last December has not yet been calibrated.

“(Y)our firm did not follow any monitoring, record keeping, and verifications procedures for the processing critical control point to control pathogenic growth and toxin formation listed in your HACCP plan for paddlefish meat,” the letter stated.

Th company submitted an initial response to the inspection’s findings on 10 April, according to the letter. However, the FDA said MC Fish failed to provide any evidence of corrections in that response.

The FDA gave MC Fish 15 working days to respond.

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