A U.S. District Court has shut down a company based in the state of Alabama for serious safety violations in the production of ready-to-eat seafood products.
According to a press release issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company, Floppers Foods, was inspected multiple times by FDA investigators over a four-year period. The inspections found “repeated deviations” from hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations for food production. The non-compliance ultimately led to the U.S. Department of Justice taking action on behalf of the FDA.
Under the consent decree issued by the Court, the company is not permitted to resume operations until it is compliant with all applicable federal food regulations. Specifically, the company must notify the FDA in writing 90 days prior to resuming seafood processing operations, and be subject to FDA inspections to verify compliance. The company will also be required to hire an independent HACCP expert to assess whether the company’s methods, processes and controls comply with regulations, and conduct an employee training program.
In a separate incident, a U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota issued an injunction against a spout and noodle company for repeatedly failing to address unsanitary conditions. The company, Canton Foods of Minneapolis, MN, reportedly has an extensive history of operating under unsanitary conditions. Multiple FDA inspections conducted in 2014 and 2015 revealed “rodent excreta pellets too numerous to count, improper cleaning, mold-like substances on equipment, failure to prevent cross-contamination from allergens and improper employee sanitation practices.”
As in the previous case, the court order bars the company from resuming operations without first notifying the FDA and also retaining an independent food safety expert to verify the implementation of an appropriate Sanitation Control Program. Further, the company will also be required to retain an independent testing laboratory to conduct an analysis of its food processing environment and food products, and to provide employee training on sanitation and appropriate food handling techniques.
The FA press release regarding the action against Flopper Foods is available here. The press release about Canton Foods can be found here.