FDA NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Aug. 25, 2011
Media Inquiries: Tamara Ward, 301-796-7567, Tamara.Ward@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
FDA requests seizure of adulterated seafood at California company
Meiko Food allegedly fails to have a required preventive control plan for seafood products
At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals, yesterday, seized seafood products manufactured by the Meiko Food Co., South El Monte, Calif., because the products are adulterated.
A complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that Meiko Foods manufactures and packages ready-to-eat seafood, including cooked seafood balls and fried fish cakes, without having a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan in place, in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
The HACCP program is a science-based system of preventive controls for food safety that was designed to increase the margin of safety for U.S. consumers, and to reduce the potential for illnesses to the lowest possible levels. FDA’s HACCP regulations require commercial processors of fish and fishery products to conduct a hazard analysis to determine whether there are potential food safety hazards and to identify and develop preventive measures to control those hazards.
“Meiko Foods cannot continue to ignore FDA warnings,” said Dara A. Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “A HACCP plan is an important tool ensuring that a company is taking proactive steps to protect the public’s health and reduce foodborne outbreaks. By taking this action today, FDA is demonstrating its commitment to making sure that food producers are protecting the public health from the dangers of adulterated food products.”
The FDA issued a warning letter to Meiko Food on Nov. 3, 2010, for not having a HACCP plan in place. A subsequent FDA inspection conducted between April and May 2011 revealed that the firm did not correct the deviations cited in the November 2010 warning letter, including significant HACCP deviations.
There have been no reported illnesses associated with these products.
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FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. FDA also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.