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Long way from Chesapeake Bay

FDA slaps local fish company for "serious violations"

On October 8, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote to Los Angeles-based Prospect Enterprises citing "serious violations" of seafood health codes at the company's San Diego–based Chesapeake Fish Company, located at 535 Harbor Lane.

Following an inspection, the federal food safety agency wrote, "Your fishery products including canned crab meat, salmon, yellow tail, oysters, and clams, are adulterated, in that they may have been prepared, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health."

The company wrote back with its remedial plans, and the FDA found some of them "not adequate" in several respects. For example, the monitoring procedure is not adequate to control Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation, said the FDA. Clostridium botulinum produces botulinum toxin that is a cause of botulism.

The FDA said Chesapeake had not provided adequate records in several instances.

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On October 8, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote to Los Angeles-based Prospect Enterprises citing "serious violations" of seafood health codes at the company's San Diego–based Chesapeake Fish Company, located at 535 Harbor Lane.

Following an inspection, the federal food safety agency wrote, "Your fishery products including canned crab meat, salmon, yellow tail, oysters, and clams, are adulterated, in that they may have been prepared, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health."

The company wrote back with its remedial plans, and the FDA found some of them "not adequate" in several respects. For example, the monitoring procedure is not adequate to control Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation, said the FDA. Clostridium botulinum produces botulinum toxin that is a cause of botulism.

The FDA said Chesapeake had not provided adequate records in several instances.

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Comments
10

Don, I'm certainly no expert when it comes to fish or health laws, but "adulterated" is not a term I would use to describe food stuff held in unsanitary conditions. Adulterated to me, means something has been added or the food has been altered in some way. Sounds odd to me.

Oct. 24, 2014

Javajoe25: You may argue with the choice of words, but "adulterated" was the one used by the FDA in that instance. The FDA also used "serious violations," and other language that is pretty clear and damning. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 25, 2014

I recently picked up a large order of clams for my fishing club's luncheon. I was very impressed at Chesapeake's facility, cleanliness, storage, everything was clean and cooled, even the loading docks. The place didn't even smell fishy. Sounds like FDA over-reaching to me. Does the FDA inspect Ralph's with the same fervor? Most of Ralph's packaged fish comes from China.

Oct. 25, 2014

Ken Harrison: It is always possible that a government agency makes errors in investigations. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 25, 2014

Java and Ken: Read the FDA warning letter Please appreciate the fact that botulinum toxin is an adulterant, and you do NOT want to eat even a bite of an adulterated product. In science, to standardize concepts and simplify communication, specific terminology that is used may include words with broader meanings, but such words are explicitly defined in the related regulatory codes.

FDA is doing a good job here of trying to get Chesapeake to have in place and follow all of the protocols needed to protect you. In food production, there's no room for sloppy record-keeping, processing, and handling. I appreciate the efforts of our health and safety regulatory offices; if they were better funded, and if there were fewer lobbyist-driven loopholes in the regs, more problems such as found at Chesapeake might be discovered. Remember the fungus-adulterated spinal injection products about a year ago? People died from meningitis caused by the fungal adulterant; the compounding lab that was involved wasn't caught before people died due to inspection backlog and regulatory loopholes.

Oct. 25, 2014

HonestGovernment: I, too, appreciate what our government does in safety inspections. Unfortunately, in the mad scramble to cut government spending, some of the safety inspections have been curtailed. It bugs me that some in Congress are criticizing the CDC over its handling of the Ebola mess, but Congress has been cutting the CDC budget for a long time. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 25, 2014

"some in Congress" such as our own local Darrell Issa, scholar-biologist-geographer-in-chief in charge of accusations against the Obama administration? At yesterday's hastily called House Oversight hearing on ebola terror, he referred to "eboli" (maybe he's a Latin scholar and thinks that's a plural form?) and the country "Guyana" in West Africa. Does he still own the car alarm company?

Oct. 25, 2014

HonestGovernment: Yes, I saw that on Rachel Maddow last night. Issa clearly did not know the difference between Ebola and E. Coli and didn't know Guyana from Guinea. It is just pathetic that such numbskulls can pass judgment on the scientists who know the field, and are trying valiantly to do their jobs.

When you hear utterances from Issa and Duncan Hunter, you understand why some people consider San Diego a backwater. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 25, 2014

Another seafood company to lookout for is Southwind dba Great American Seafood. They are located in Vernon, Ca, a tiny industrial city near LA. The packaging is covered in American flags, but the products are from China, and often mislabeled according to the FDA.

Oct. 27, 2014

Sjtorres: A lot of seafood is from China. Like many other products from China, it should be checked carefully by those distributing it. Best, Don Bauder

Oct. 27, 2014

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