U.S. seafood company shut down after FDA finds food safety violations

Published on
July 8, 2016

An Alabama, U.S.A.-based seafood company has been ordered to cease production after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documented serious food safety violations at its processing plant.

BEK Catering, which operates as Floppers Foods in Daphne, Alabama, was handed a permanent injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama on Tuesday, 5 July after the FDA showed the court the results of multiple inspections it conducted between 2011 and 2015. The owners of the business are Billy B. Stembridge Jr. and Kyle D. Huxen.

According to FDA’s complaint, BEK Catering prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat seafood soups sold under the names Shrimp Locksley and Mama’s Gumbo, Food Safety News reported.

The complaint alleges that the defendants caused food to become “adulterated and misbranded,” though no illnesses have been reported in connection with BEK Catering, the FDA said in a press release.

“When a company fails to provide an adequate plan for preventing food safety hazards from occurring in their facility, they are putting the public at risk,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “It is the job of the FDA to oversee that seafood businesses have adequate controls in place for the products they produce. When adequate preventive controls are not in place, we must take action to prevent potentially harmful food from entering the food supply.”

The consent decree prohibits the business from receiving, processing, manufacturing, preparing, packing, holding or distributing food until it comes into compliance with FDA requirements. In order to resume seafood processing operations, BEK Catering LLC must destroy all of the seafood products in its possession and take remedial measures, including hiring an independent expert who is qualified to determine whether the company’s methods, processes and controls comply with regulations. The business must also conduct an employee training program and notify the FDA 90 days in advance of its potential reopening.

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