FDA warns global seafood processors over HACCP violations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to seafood processors in Portugal, Spain, Vietnam, Ecuador and the United States, the most recent within the past month. All processors could have their seafood products detained at the U.S. border without examination unless FDA concerns are addressed. Allegations differ from processor to processor, but all involve the U.S. requirement that the product processor adhere to a specific Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan.

In Ecuador, Star Company S.A. and Crimasa Criaderos De Mariscos, S.A. received warning letters for issues with their respective HACCP plans. Star Company responded to the FDA with corrective measures it planned to take, but the company didn’t provide the FDA with a hard copy of its HACCP plan. Crimasa also responded to the FDA in writing, but its responses weren’t adequate due to failure to revise its HACCP plan to include farmed shrimp products. 

In Portugal, Gialmar-Produtos Alimentrares S.A. faced issues with its HACCP plan for its frozen sardines, mackerel and horse mackerel, according to the FDA.

Malasyian seafood processor QL Figo Foods SDN BHD received a letter that looked at the company’s HACCP plan involving several of its fish and lobster products. The company had provided the FDA with written changes to its HACCP plan following a previous inspection, but the agency found the revisions violated HACCP regulations. The company has issues regarding botulism growth and toxin formation, according to the FDA.

Spain’s Balfego and Balfego S.L. received a letter regarding the adequacy of its HACCP plan for processing sashimi-grade bluefin tuna. The company sent a revision of its HACCP plan in August after the inspection.

Cau Tre Export Goods Processing  Joint Stock Company, A Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, seafood processor, produces frozen shrimp dumplings, snow crab with garlic butter, frozen shrimp and other fishery products. The company also received a letter regarding HACCP violations.

Detroit-based Sherwood Food Distributors was warned this month regarding HACCP failures during implementation and inadequate sanitation controls. Hickory Smokehouse of Las Vegas received its warning letter about its smoked salmon and trout. The company needs to address both seafood HACCP and mislabeling concerns, according to FDA.


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