Saturday, June 7, 2008

FDA Takes Action against Seafood Processing Company, Executives

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today filed a complaint for permanent injunction against seafood processor Captain's Select Seafood, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., and two of its top officers for violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

The FDA’s enforcement action follows the company’s extensive history of violating the FD&C Act and the agency’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. FDA’s HAACP regulations require that all seafood processors develop and implement adequate plans that identify all food safety hazards that are likely to occur for each kind of seafood product, and contain preventative measures that the processor can implement to control those hazards.

“We simply can’t allow a company to put the public’s health at risk by not having adequate procedures and plans to produce safe food,” said Margaret O’K. Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “Our warning letters should not be taken lightly. We will take action against companies and against their executives who violate the law and endanger public health.”

Captain’s Select Seafood makes a variety of fish and fishery products. The HACCP violations documented by the FDA pose a public health hazard because, without adequate controls, products made by Captain’s Select Seafood could harbor pathogenic bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. Food products with these kinds of pathogens can cause serious illnesses in people who eat them.

The complaint was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. This enforcement action follows a February 2006 warning letter and other violations dating back to April 2004.

There are no reported illnesses associated with consuming Captain’s Select Seafood products. Consumers can call the FDA’s toll-free Food Safety Hotline at 1-888-SAFEFOOD, should they have any food safety questions, and they can report any problems to the FDA consumer complaint coordinator in their geographic area. Contact numbers may be found on-line at www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html

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