Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
Best Choice Trading Corporation 13-Jun-06
Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service
New York District
June 13, 2006
Ref: NYK 2006-21
RETURN RECEIPT REOUESTED
Mr. Lee Fong
Best Choice Trading Corporation
146 Stewart Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11237
Dear Mr. Fong:
We inspected your seafood importer establishment, located at 146 Stewart Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11237 on May 18 and 22, 2006. We found that you have serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 123 (21 CFR Part 123). The specific requirements for imported fish and fishery products are set out in 21 CFR 123.12. As an importer of fish or fishery products, you must operate in accordance with the requirements of Part 123. In accordance with 21 CFR 123.12(d), there must be evidence that all fish and fishery products offered for entry into the United States have been processed under conditions that comply with 21 CFR Part 123. If assurances do not exist that the imported fish or fishery product has been processed under conditions that are equivalent to those required of domestic processors under 21 CFR Part 123, the fish or fishery products will appear to be adulterated under Section 402(a)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), 21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(4) and will be denied entry. Because our inspection identified serious violations for 21 CFR Part 123, your frozen surimi (ready-to-eat imitation crab meat) is adulterated under Section 402(a)(4)of the Act (21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(4)), in that it has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health. You may find the Act, the seafood HACCP regulation and the Fish and Fisheries Products Hazards & Controls Guidance through links in FDA's home page at www.fda.gov.
Your significant violation was as follows:
You must implement an affirmative step which ensures that the fish and fishery product (s) you import are processed in accordance with the seafood HACCP regulation, to comply with 21 CFR 123.12 (a) (2) (ii). However, your firm performed an affirmative step of obtaining a copy in English of the foreign processor's HACCP plan for frozen surimi (ready-to-eat imitation crab meat) manufactured by [redacted] that was not adequate. If your affirmative step is to obtain a copy in English of the foreign processor's HACCP plan then in addition to the HACCP plan you must also obtain a written guarantee (in English) from the foreign processor that the imported fish and fishery products are processed in accordance with the seafood HACCP regulations.
Since a seafood processor is required to perform verification of the HACCP plan in accordance with 21 CFR 123.8 (a) (1) which includes a reassessment of the plan at least annually, copies in English of the foreign processor's HACCP plan and written guarantee would be obtained at least annually and signed and dated within the year by the most responsible person on-site at the foreign processing facility or by a higher level official of the foreign processor.
We may take further action if you do not promptly correct these violations. For instance, we may take further action to refuse admission of your imported fish or fishery products under Section 801(a) of the Act (21 U.S.C. § 381(a)), including placing them on "detention without physical examination," seize your product(s) and/or enjoin your firm from further violating the Act.
You should respond in writing within fifteen (15) working days from your receipt of this letter. Your response should outline the specific things you are doing to correct these violations. You should include in your response documentation, such as HACCP and importer verification records and records that document the performance and results of your firm's affirmative steps, or other useful information that would assist us in evaluating your corrections. If you cannot complete all corrections before you respond, you should explain the reason for your delay and state when you will correct any remaining violations.
This letter may not list all the violations at your facility. You are responsible for ensuring that your seafood importer establishment operates in compliance with the Act and the seafood HACCP regulation (21 CFR Part 123). You also have a responsibility to use procedures to prevent further violations of the Act and all applicable regulations for the fish or fishery products that you import into the United States.
Please send your reply to the Food and Drug Administration, Attention: Anna Alexander, Compliance Branch, US Food and Drug Administration, New York District, 158-15 Liberty Avenue, Jamaica, New York 11433. If you have questions regarding any issues in this letter, please contact Anna Alexander at 718-662-5683.
Steven B. Simpson
Acting District Director