FDA’s shrimp import refusals rose in January
In January, the United States Food and Drug Administration refused the highest number of shrimp entries due to banned antibiotics since April 2017.
Included in last month’s refusals were 14 shrimp entry lines rejected due to salmonella contamination.
FDA attributed five of the 116 total seafood entry refusals to banned antibiotics in shrimp. Two suppliers accounted for the five refusals from FDA’s West Coast division: Bangladesh-based Sea Fresh Ltd. and Zhangzhou TaiWang Food Co. Ltd, in Longhai City in the Fujian Province.
Meanwhile, the shrimp lots that were stopped because of salmonella were from: Falcon Marine Exports Pvt Ltd. in Orissa, India; Sandhya Aqua Exports Pot. Ltd. in Kurumaddali, Andhra Pradesh, India; Jagadeesh Marine Exports in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India; and PT Bumi Menara Internusa in Jawa Timur, Indonesia.
FDA’s refusal of five shrimp entries shows that the agency’s comprehensive Import Seafood Safety program works, Gavin Gibbons, vice president of communications for the National Fisheries Institute, told SeafoodSource.
"It is important to note that products that are on Import Alert are automatically held at a rate of 100 percent and are not released until it is proven that they do not violate FDA’s regulations,” he said.
Between April 2017, and January, 2018, the FDA reported only 13 total shrimp entry line refusals for banned antibiotics.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance, which represents U.S. commercial shrimp fishermen and processors, said in a statement that the higher refusal totals reveal potential food safety dangers of lower-quality imports.
“The combination of the continued use of antibiotics in shrimp aquaculture, and the presence of food-borne pathogens in shrimp products imported into this country, again spotlights concerns regarding the development and spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria,” the organization said.