Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
Chicken of the Sea International 28-Jan-02
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Food and Drug Administration
Southwest Import District
4040 N. Central Expressway, Suite 300
Dallas, Texas, 75204
January 28, 2002
Entry # F62-1001874-4
VIA Federal Express
Mr. Dennis Mussell, President
Chicken of the Sea International
4510 Executive Drive, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92121-3029
Dear Mr. Mussell:
On January 25, 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempted to examine a
shipment of -cartons of Premium Light Tuna in Pouches consigned to your firm
from Thai Union Frozen Products Public Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand. FDA confirmed
that this lot of tuna has been completely distributed into U.S. commerce without a
proper FDA release.
This shipment of tuna was sampled on May 30, 200l and examined by FDA for
decomposition. The lot was found to be violative for decomposition and was detained on
June 14, 2001. Following receipt of the notice of detention, Chicken of the Sea
requested and received an extension of time to prepare a reconditioning request for the
entry. The request was initially denied. The latest revision received from Chicken of the
Sea was approved on December 3, 200l. On December 11, 2001, FDA received a fax
of a letter from Chicken of the Sea providing information that the entire shipment may
no longer be available for sampling and examination.
On January 25, 2002, FDA attempted to examine this entry of tuna. This shipment was
not available for FDA to examine and was distributed out of Shippers Warehouse,
Dallas, Texas with shipments made between June 5, 200l and November 27, 200l.
Distribution from this shipment of tuna began 5 days following the FDA sample
collection on May 30, 2001. It is a violation of 21 USC 381 (a) and Title 21 of the Code
of Federal Regulations Section 1.90 that requires the importer to hold an imported
article and not distribute it pending receipt of the results of FDA examination of the
sample. Shipments of this lot were distributed even after the FDA issued a notice of
detention indicating adulteration of this tuna due to the presence of decomposition. It is
a prohibited act (21 USC 331(a)) to introduce into interstate commerce a food that is
adulterated according to 21 USC 342(a)(3) "if it consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance". Failure to promptly correct this situation may result in requiring that future shipments be held in secured storage. Secured storage will be under the supervision and direction of Customs, such as in a bonded warehouse.
You will be responsible for all costs incurred in secured storage.
In addition, we have requested that Customs demand redelivery of this shipment.
Failure to redeliver the missing product to Customs? custody may result in an
assessment of liquidated damages at a later date.
Within 15 working days of receipt of this letter notify this office in writing of the specific
steps you have taken to correct this violative situation, including an explanation of each
step being taken to prevent recurrence and any attempts to retrieve any of this violative
product in U.S. commerce. In the event that the product is still available for examination,
you should inform Customs and FDA if and when redelivery is accomplished.
Your response should be addressed to Deborah M. Floyd, Compliance Officer, at the
address noted in the letterhead.
Robert J. Deininger