US government aims to close seafood processing facility
The United States government is seeking to permanently shut down two companies that operate a processing facility for seafood and other foods, due to listeria monocytogenes contamination.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), filed a complaint in federal court in New York, U.S.A. against Euroline Foods, LLC, and Royal Seafood Baza, Inc. in Staten Island, New York.
The complaint alleges that the processors violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by processing and distributing ready-to-eat fish and fishery products, vegetable salads, and cheese products in a facility with chronic unsanitary conditions.
FDA inspections found listeria monocytogenes at the companies’ facility, but the processors “failed to put in place adequate measures to reduce the risk of health hazards such as L. monocytogenes, Clostridium botulinum, and scombrotoxin,” according to a DOJ press release.
Defendants in the complaint include the company’s owners/operators Eduard Shnayder, Syoma Shnayder, and Albert Niyazov, as well as operator Oleg Polischouk.
Royal Seafood Baza and Euroline Foods failed to comply with both seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations and current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulations, according to the complaint.
“Food processors and distributors must identify and eliminate food safety hazards and develop meaningful plans for preventing such hazards in order to protect consumers,” stated United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York.
“Those who fail to do so must come into compliance or be shut down. We have, and will continue, to use all means at our disposal to protect the public from the dangers of harmful pathogenic bacteria, including bacteria that cause listeriosis and other serious illnesses,” added Donoghue.
Three FDA inspections of the defendants’ facility – in March 2015, February to March 2016, and November to December 2016, as well as a follow-up investigation in November 2017 – uncovered GMP and HACCP violations. The FDA issued a warning letter to Royal Seafood in 2015, and the agency’s inspections in 2016 detected listeria contamination in several areas of the facility.
The complaint seeks an order by the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from violating the FDCA and to prevent them from manufacturing or distributing food, unless they comply with specific remedial measures including developing and executing an effective sanitation program.