Ocean Beauty Issues Statement on Federal Search
Ocean Beauty Seafoods issued the following statement yesterday following the search of its Washington and California processing facilities Tuesday by federal agents.
“‘Ocean Beauty Seafoods’ Washington plants in Seattle and Monroe, as well as its Los Angeles location, returned to normal operations Tuesday afternoon after federal officials closed them briefly earlier in the day. Agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement arrived at the plants Tuesday morning seeking documentation records apparently relating to a single shipment of seafood imported in late 2007.
“Our operations were suspended at these locations for part of a day as a result of the investigation, but by the end of the day all operations were processing and shipping as normal,” said Mark Palmer, Ocean Beauty president and CEO. “Food safety is too important to us not to take this seriously, and we are doing so. We have done everything in our power to comply fully with the authorities, and will continue to do so.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of the food supply,” he continued. “Our business relies utterly on our ability to produce safe product and to be a reliable and trustworthy manufacturer and business partner.
“This matter is unrelated to the company’s Alaska operations or its fresh fish distribution locations, but appears to be narrowly focused on a single frozen shipment.”
Ocean Beauty, one of the largest Pacific Northwest seafood processors, employs about 250 people in Seattle and 2,000 to 4,000 people worldwide.