Sunday, February 14, 2016

Smoked Seafood Processor Shut Down for Insanitary Conditions

A processor of 'high end' smoked seafood products was shut down for unsanitary conditions.  This came after 'a decade' of issues.  This facility's product was used by a number of notable restaurants and the facility had won some awards. (Company website).

Vacuum packaged smoked salmon is a pretty risky product if not done right.  First, it can be a Clostridium botulinum risk if not properly processed, which was one of the issues according to reports..  Listeria is also a risk if it contaminates the product in the time after smoking and before packaging.  The facility had that issue in the past which had resulted in a recall.

This seems to be a good brand to add to the 'do not eat' list.

Portland Press Herald
Maine seafood company shut down for food safety violations

Sullivan Harbor Farm in Hancock had been warned for more than a decade that its manufacturing of smoked salmon was unsanitary, the U.S. Justice Department says.
BY BETH QUIMBY STAFF WRITER | @QuimbyBeth | 207-791-6363

A high-end Hancock seafood company has been shut down for repeated unsanitary conditions and food safety violations, including manufacturing in the presence of rodent excrement, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. District Judge Jon D. Levy on Friday signed a consent decree of permanent injunction against Mill Stream Corp., which does business as Sullivan Harbor Farm, and its owner, Ira Joel Frantzman.

The action followed more than a decade of warnings to the company by the Food and Drug Administration, which found the company’s smoked fish products were being prepared, packed and held under unsanitary conditions so that the products may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health, says a complaint filed by the Justice Department in U.S. District Court in Maine.

The company, founded in 1992, has annually made about 75,000 pounds of ready-to-eat smoked fish and fishery products, such as smoked salmon, trout and char, which are sold across the country. Customers include Legal Sea Foods in Boston and Dean & DeLuca of New York. The company’s smoked fish products have received a number of food industry awards.

According to the complaint, an FDA inspection in March and April 2015 identified significant, recurring violations at the business on Route 1, including inadequate plans to control risks of a neurotoxin that can cause botulism.

The FDA also observed rodent “excreta pellets too numerous to count in the area of the facility where smoker trays are cleaned, apparent black mold and water staining on the door frame of the walk-in freezer where fish is stored, an open rack of salmon stored beneath a pipe with frozen condensate build-up, water splashing from the processing floor onto a cutting board and into bins where fish was stored.”

The complaint says that a December 2011 inspection revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the facility’s environment and on a fish-skinning machine. The company recalled and destroyed the affected products.

The complaint also says that for more than a decade the FDA repeatedly warned the company about violations through regulatory meetings, telephone calls and other measures but the violations continued.

In conjunction with the filing of the complaint, the company has agreed to settle the case and has ceased all manufacturing operations, according to a news release from the Justice Department. The FDA must determine that the company has complied with all safety regulations before it may resume manufacturing.

No one was available at the company Sunday. A message on its website says its smokehouse is closed for training to improve the facility.

Law 360
Maine Fishing Co. Repeatedly Sold Tainted Fish, DOJ Says
By Emily FieldLaw360, New York 

(February 10, 2016, 11:00 PM ET) -- The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday slapped a smoked salmon and trout distributor with a suit in Maine federal court alleging it has repeatedly released unsafe food into the marketplace, despite multiple warnings.
The government said that Mill Stream Corp., which does business as Sullivan Harbor Farm, has repeatedly violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act since 2004, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has conducted “numerous” inspections of its facility and found multiple violations of seafood and food packaging safety regulations.

“Defendants are aware of their history of non-compliance with the act,” the Justice Department. “Defendants repeatedly have promised to comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.”

But deviations from food safety requirements remain “systemic and persistent,” the government said.

The government is seeking an order that Mill Stream stop operations until it complies with the FDCA, according to the complaint.

After its most recent inspection last spring, FDA inspectors documented that Mill Stream didn’t have procedures in place to make sure that the salt levels were high enough in its smoked fish to prevent the growth of the microbe that causes botulism, a potentially fatal illness that also can cause paralysis.

The inspectors also found that the company doesn't have records of fish temperature during transit and instead relies on covering the fish with ice instead of taking their temperature, even though its internal plans state that fish temperatures can’t be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when they arrive at the facility.

“During FDA’s most recent inspection, the FDA investigators observed that the raw salmon fillets that defendants received were not completely covered in ice,” the government said. “Accordingly, defendants’ temperature critical limit does not ensure that fish are maintained at 40 [degrees Fahrenheit] or below during transit.”

The FDA inspectors also found rat feces “too numerous to count” on the floor of one area of the facility, according to the complaint.

They also found black mold on the wooden doorframe of a walk-in freezer where smoked salmon is routinely kept and an open rack of smoked salmon stored directly underneath a pipe with a build-up of frozen condensation, according to the complaint.

A 2011 inspection found the bacteria L. mono, which causes listeria, on a fish-skinning machine, according to the complaint.

The FDA issued an administrative detention order, and the affected products were recalled and destroyed, according to the complaint.

Afterwards, Mill Stream promised during a regulatory meeting with the FDA to conduct regular environmental testing for listeria, the FDA said.

“However, FDA’s most recent inspection in March/April 2015 revealed that defendants had discontinued such environmental testing,” the agency said.

The agency has also sent a warning letter to Mill Stream in 2004 after an inspection revealed food safety deficiencies and met with its owner Joel Frantzman, also named in the complaint, in 2007 to discuss the pattern of violations.

More -

No comments:

Post a Comment