Major International Seafood Processors Violating FDA Safety Rules

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The FDA has sent warning letters to some of the biggest international seafood processors that provide fresh seafood to the U.S. over quality and safety issues that do not meet U.S. regulations.

Seafood processors in Ecuador, Portugal, Malaysia, Spain and Vietnam have all received warnings in the last several months from the FDA, and if the issues are not corrected, it could mean many of their seafood shipments to the U.S. are refused at ports.

“All face the possibility of having their fish or fish products detained at the U.S. border without any physical examination unless FDA’s concerns are addressed,” reports Food Safety News. “And, while the alleged violations differ, almost all involve the U.S. requirement that the processor of fish or fishery products adhere to a specific Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan.”

Shrimp, lobster, crab, sardines, mackerel, horse mackerel and Bluefin tuna are among the seafood products in question.

In Ecuador, two seafood processors received warning letters and after the companies responded stating that the issues would be corrected, inadequate or no action has taken place. A Malaysian seafood processor “did not take into account the food safety hazard of botulism growth and toxin formation,” Food Safety News reported. In Spain, a sashimi-grade Bluefin tuna processor was cited for “adulterated” fish, which required corrections on “temperatures, monitoring, and vessel records, among other topics,” Food Safety News explained. And in Vietnam, a processor of shrimp and snow crab was cited for violations and the company’s follow up included “serious deviations” from HACCP regulations. Among the issues noted by the FDA were risks for pathogen growth and heavy metal contaminants.

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