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WARNING LETTER

HST Produce, Inc. MARCS-CMS 639794 —


Delivery Method:
Via Express Delivery
Product:
Food & Beverages

Recipient:
Recipient Name
Mr. Hermilo Salazar
Recipient Title
Owner
HST Produce, Inc.

4310 Oates Rd
Houston, TX 77013-3336
United States

Issuing Office:
Division of Southwest Imports

United States


November 7, 2022

WARNING LETTER

Re: CMS #639794

Dear Mr. Hermilo Salazar:

On June 23 - July 7, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) inspection of HST Produce, Inc. located at 4310 Oates Rd, Houston, TX 77013-3336. We also conducted an inspection on October 19 - October 20, 2020. These inspections were conducted to determine your compliance with the requirements of section 805 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 384a) and the implementing FSVP regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart L.

The FSVP regulation requires that importers perform certain risk-based activities to verify that human and/or animal food they import into the United States has been produced in a manner that meets applicable U.S. food safety standards. You may find information relating to the FSVP regulation and your responsibilities to comply with the regulation through links in FDA’s FSVP web page at https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/fsma-final-rule-foreign-supplier-verification-programs-fsvp-importers-food-humans-and-animals.

During the most recent inspection, we found that you are not in compliance with the requirements of 21 CFR part 1, subpart L for the foods you import. Because of these significant violations, you are not in compliance with section 805 of the FD&C Act.

At the conclusion of the most recent inspection, our investigator provided you with a Form FDA 483a FSVP Observations. We have not received your response to the FDA 483a issued to you at the close of the inspection on July 7, 2022.

Your significant violations of the FSVP regulation are as follows:

You did not develop, maintain, and follow an FSVP as required by section 805 of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR part 1.502(a). Specifically, your firm did not develop, maintain, and follow an FSVP for any foods that you import, including each of the following foods:

  • Fresh prickly pear imported from (b)(4)
  • Fresh jalapeno pepper imported from (b)(4)
  • Peruano beans imported from (b)(4)

You import fresh produce, that is “covered produce” as defined in 21 CFR 112.3. As an importer of covered produce, you must have an FSVP that demonstrates that your supplier is producing the food in compliance with processes and procedures that provide at least the same level of public health protection as those required under section 419 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 350h) (regarding standards for produce safety) and the implementing regulations in the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (21 CFR part 112).

The above violations are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations of the FSVP requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance with section 805 of the FD&C Act and the implementing regulation in 21 CFR part 1, subpart L.

This letter notifies you of our concerns and provides you an opportunity to address them. Failure to adequately address this matter may result in further action. For instance, we may take action under section 801(a)(3) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 381(a)(3)) to refuse admission of the food products you import. We may place the foods you import on detention without physical examination (DWPE) when you import the foods. You can find DWPE information relating to FSVP in Import Alert # 99-41 at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/ialist.html. In addition, the importation or offering for importation into the United States of an article of food without the importer having an FSVP that meets the requirements of section 805 of the FD&C Act or the FSVP regulation is prohibited under section 301(zz) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 331(zz)).

You should respond in writing within fifteen (15) working days from your receipt of this letter. Your response should address the specific things you are doing to correct any violations. You should include in your response documentation and information that would assist us in evaluating your corrections, (e.g., documentation of changes you made, such as a copy of your FSVP, records to demonstrate implementation of your FSVP), and any additional information that you wish to supply relevant to your compliance with the FSVP regulation. If you believe that you are not in violation of the FD&C Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration. If you cannot complete all corrections within 15 working days, you should explain the reason for your delay and state when you will correct any remaining violations.

Please send your reply to the Food and Drug Administration, Attention: CDR Toby H. Hill, Compliance Officer, Division of Southwest Imports, One Main Place, 1201 Main Street, Suite 7200, Dallas, TX 75202. If you have any questions regarding this letter, you may contact Compliance Officer CDR Toby H. Hill via email at toby.hill@fda.hhs.gov. Please reference CMS # 639794 on any documents or records you provide to us and/ or within the subject line of any email correspondence you send to us.

Sincerely,
/S/

Todd Cato
Division of Southwest Imports Director
One Main Place
1201 Main Street, Suite 7200
Dallas, TX 75202

 
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