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Recipe for Better Seafood Safety Opened to Public Comments

Seafood safety, legal fishing, and proper labeling of fish might all benefit from presidential task force recommendations now open to public comments. Scheduled for publication on Dec. 18 in the Federal Register, the “Recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud” cover four general themes:

  • International: Combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud at the international level;
  • Enforcement: Strengthen enforcement and enhance enforcement tools to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud;
  • Partnerships: Create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations to identify and eliminate seafood fraud and the sale of IUU seafood in U.S. commerce, and,
  • Traceability: Create a risk-based traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into U.S. commerce to prevent entry of illegal product into the supply chain and better inform retailers and consumers.

“One of the biggest global threats to the sustainable management of the world’s fisheries is illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” states the task force report. “IUU fishing occurs both within nations’ waters and on the high seas and undermines the biological and economic sustainability of fisheries both domestically and abroad. IUU fishing in other parts of the world can cause problems in places where there are strong rules managing fisheries, such as the United States.”

The task force report was filed Tuesday by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a unit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which, in turn, is a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

President Obama established the task force in June at the global Our Ocean conference hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Federal agencies were directed to work together for six months to develop recommendations to combat seafood fraud and illegal fishing.

“While not necessarily related to IUU fishing, seafood fraud (whereby fish is mislabeled with respect to its species or country of origin, quantity, or quality) has the potential to undermine the economic viability of U.S. and global fisheries as well as the ability of consumers to make informed purchasing choices, “ the task force report continued.

“Seafood fraud can occur at any point along the seafood supply chain from harvest to market. It can be driven by diverse motives, from covering up IUU fishing to avoiding duties, to increasing a profit margin through species substitution or falsification of the country of origin. While it is difficult to know the extent of seafood fraud, the frequency of seafood fraud incidents has received increasing attention in peer-reviewed journals, government reports and private sector reports. Seafood fraud threatens consumer confidence, serving to further undermine the reputation and market competitiveness of law-abiding fishers and businesses in the seafood industry,” it states.

Seafood fraud is all too common. In February 2013, Oceana, a U.S.-based group working to improve oceans worldwide, reported that 33 percent of more than 1,200 fish samples purchased at retail and tested were mislabeled, according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.

Fish fraud is typically practiced to fool consumers into paying more, not to necessarily put them at risk from a food safety perspective, although unsafe food can result from fraudulent practices. To help improve the situation, Oceana advocates for “full chain traceability” from “boat to plate.”

In a statement released Tuesday, Oceana said the presidential task force recommendations are “a real step forward in fighting illegal fishing and seafood fraud in the U.S. and around the world.” The group says the recommendations will help carry out the president’s “commitment to stop those crimes that provide profits to pirate fishermen, rip off consumers, and hinder ocean conservation.”

Beth Lowell, senior campaign director for Oceana, called the task force recommendations a “historic opportunity to ensure that the seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled.”

The organization is calling on Obama to implement the recommendations “swiftly and to their fullest extent.”

Comments on the task force recommendations must be received within 30 days of their publication in the Federal Register. Instructions on how to comment electronically or by mail are on the second page of this document.

Food Safety News

Seafood Processors From Around the World Receive FDA Warning Letters

Foreign seafood processors in Ecuador, Portugal, Malaysia, Spain and Vietnam have, in the past month or so, have received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

All face the possibility of having their fish or fish products detained at the U.S. border without any physical examination unless FDA’s concerns are addressed. And, while the alleged violations differ, almost all involve the U.S. requirement that the processor of fish or fishery products adhere to a specific Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan.

Two seafood processors in Ecuador received warning letters. The Guayaquil-based Star Company S.A. was subjected to FDA inspection last June 2-3, 2014, and was afterwards provided with a copy of the FDA 483 form containing inspector observations.

Star Company responded in writing on July 4, 2014, with corrective measures it planned to take, but the company did not provide FDA with a copy of its HACCP plan.

In the Sept. 24 warning letter, FDA told the company that it must have a HACCP plan with a hazard analysis for each kind of fish or fish product it processes. Star Company is a processor of both wild- and farm-raised shrimp, and FDA said that each of those must be addressed in the HACCP plan.

While in Ecuador, FDA also inspected Duran-based Crimasa Criaderos De Mariscos, S.A. on June 5-6, 2014. It is also a processor of both farm-raised and wild-caught shrimp, and it, too, was provided with the written observations of the inspectors. Crimasa responded in writing on June 27, 2014, but FDA said the responses were not adequate because the company did not revise its HACCP plan to include aquacultured shrimp products.

The Nov. 24 warning letter says the company must address biological, chemical, or physical properties that may cause its farm-raised shrimp on-shell product to become unsafe.

The earliest date for this series of warning letters was Oct. 2, when Gialmar-Produtos Alimentares S.A. was contacted about an FDA inspection of its seafood-processing plant last Feb. 11-12, 2014. The agency was not satisfied with the HACCP plan the Portuguese company provided. An inadequate plan means the company’s fresh and frozen sardines, mackerel, and horse mackerel are adulterated, according to FDA.

Malaysian seafood processor QL Figo Foods SDN BHD received a Nov. 5, 2014, warning letter stemming from an FDA inspection that occurred last May 21, and 22, 2014. Figo provided FDA with written changes to its HACCP plan involving several of its fish and lobster products, but the agency found that the revisions violated HACCP regulations. For example, in its revisions, the Malaysian seafood processor did not take into account the food safety hazard of botulism growth and toxin formation, FDA stated.

FDA also had concerns about temperature controls and monitoring, along with the use of color additives and labeling. It also listed several of the seafood processors’ products that are misbranded.

FDA sent a Nov.  14 warning letter to Spain’s Balfego and Balfego S.L. about the adequacy of its HACCP plan for processing sashimi-grade Bluefin tuna. The company sent a revised HACCP plan to FDA in August after the agency conducted as inspection last April 7-8, 2014.

“Review of the documentation provided by your firm revealed that responses were not adequate as further described in this letter,” the FDA warning states. The agency indicated it viewed the Bluefin tuna produced by Balfeo and Balfeo as adulterated. FDA provided the company with six pages of detailed corrections it is requiring covering temperatures, monitoring, and vessel records, among other topics.

A Ho Chi Minh City seafood processor is the latest of the foreign counties to get an FDA warning letter. Cau Tre Export Goods Processing  Joint Stock Company produces frozen shrimp dumplings, snow crab with garlic butter, frozen shrimp and other fishery products.

FDA stated that it found HACCP violations at Cau Tre during an inspection conducted last April 14-15, 2014.  The company then provided FDA with documentation on changes, but the warning letter states that those changes are “serious deviations” from HACCP regulations.

FDA pointed out that the cooking critical control point suggested by Cau Tre was not sufficient to control pathogen growth and its catching critical control point never insures any checks for heavy metals.

Two domestic seafood processors also received FDA warning letters during November. Detroit-based Sherwood Food Distributors was warned on Nov. 19 about failures with HACCP implementation and inadequate sanitation controls.

Finally, the Hickory Smokehouse of Las Vegas was the subject of a Nov. 14 warning letter about its refrigerated and frozen vacuum-packaged, ready-to-eat hot and cold smoked salmon and trout. The Las Vegas company must address both seafood HACCP and mislabeling concerns, according to FDA.

Warning letters require responses to FDA within 15 days.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: Noodle Maker and Seafood Processor

Modern Macaroni Co. Ltd., manufacturers of Hawaiian-style Hula Brand noodles, earlier this month received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) charging that two of its major products are adulterated.

The FDA warning letter states that the artificially colored shrimp flakes known as Hula Brand Hana Ebi and the Hula Brand Fun Chow noodles, both sold by Modern Macaroni, are adulterated in that they were “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.”

The warning letter from FDA’s San Francisco office follows an April 16-28, 2014, inspection of Modern Macaroni’s facility in Honolulu. It states that inspectors found the facility was in violation of federal food safety regulations, including those covering the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) planning requirements and provisions for Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs).

In addition, the FDA inspection found that the green Hula Brand Hana Ebi was misbranded because of sulfite content and color analysis mistakes.

Modern Macaroni was also advised that it had failed to disclose the presence of a color additive and a preservative on the Hula Brand Hana Ebi (green) shrimp flakes.

The inspection also turned up sanitation problems, including failure to clean a grinder between uses, leaving it caked with both red- and green-colored shrimp flakes, and using worn trays to hold and dry the product. Also, there was no warm water available in the employee restroom serving the area, FDA stated.

And, in violation of Current Good Manufacturing Practices, the agency claimed that the hanging rods and drying trays used in noodle making were found to be both worn and not easily cleanable. The floors, walls, metal fans, and racks in the cleaning room were also found to be heavily worn and coated with dust and debris.

“The condition of this room is such that dust and debris may be blown into the air by fans, then settle onto the drying noodles,” the warning letter stated.

A seafood processing facility in Brookfield, CT, also received a recent FDA warning letter. FDA inspected the facility owned by Japanese Specialty Food Distributor Ltd. Co. on five separate dates in late July and early August.

Most of the warning letter concerns the company’s failure to have a HACCP for its frozen, vacuum-packed raw salmon and frozen, vacuum-packed raw tuna, which means that the products are adulterated. FDA says the company must have a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product it produces, maintain good sanitation conditions as required by CGMPs, and implement written verification processes.

Both companies were given 15 days to respond to the concerns raised by the FDA warning letters. Neither has yet commented on them publicly.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: Farms, Food Manufacturers, Seafood Processors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted several recent warning letters about alleged regulation violations, including those sent to food manufacturers in Nebraska and Washington, seafood processors in Massachusetts, Maine and Michigan, and farms in New York and Kentucky.

IPSI Specialty Foods Inc. of La Vista, NE, which pickles chicken eggs, was told by FDA that it needed to register as a commercial processor of acidified foods, file information on how it does heat processing and control pH, salt, sugar, and preservative levels, and improve certain plant conditions such as cleanliness and lighting.

FDA informed G. Wolf Enterprises Inc. of Gold Bar, WA, that it needed to file scheduled processes for the production of 17 acidified foods (pickles, cucumbers, asparagus, garlic, and cilantro chutney) and to examine glass jars often enough for potential leakage or food contamination.

The agency also asserted violations of seafood HACCP regulations, given that the company’s spice condiment product contains shrimp, and the letter stated that inspectors had observed problems involving cleanliness and storage practices at the manufacturing facility.

M & B Sea Products Inc. of New Bedford, MA, was visited by FDA inspectors in July and August, who noted that the company needed a seafood HACCP plan and better temperature controls and monitoring practices to help make sure that its raw, unpreserved scallops did not develop Clostridium botulinum.

FDA told Seaview Fisheries Inc. (doing business as Seaview Lobster Co.) of Kittery, ME, that it needed to demonstrate that the cooking critical limit for lobster was sufficient to control a pathogen hazard. In addition, FDA stated that sanitation conditions and practices during processing needed to be monitored more often to prevent cross-contamination.

Michigan Brands Inc. of Bay City, MI, was inspected in June and July and found to be lacking a sufficient seafood HACCP plan. FDA specifically stated that the firm needed a hazard analysis for smoked alligator and salmon smoked strips so that Clostridium botulinum, pathogenic bacteria growth and toxin formation, and allergens could be adequately controlled. Monitoring and record-keeping practices also needed to be implemented, FDA stated.

Ashland Farm LLC of Aurora, NY, allegedly violated Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act when it sold for slaughter a bob veal calf which was later found to have gamithromycin in its kidney tissues. FDA has not established a tolerance for residues of gamithromycin in the edible tissues of calves intended for slaughter as veal, the agency noted.

Further, the drug was not used as directed by its approved labeling and was not administered under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, FDA stated.

In FDA’s warning letter to Hoover Family Farm of Scottsville, KY, the agency stated that, after an inspection in June, it found that a calf had been sold for slaughter which was found to have 0.072 parts per million (ppm) of penicillin in its kidney tissue. However, FDA has established a tolerance of 0.05 ppm for residues of penicillin in the kidney tissue of cattle.

In each warning letter, FDA requested that the farms and companies provide written responses detailing steps taken to bring them into compliance with food safety laws and regulations, to correct violations cited in the letters, and to prevent their recurrence.

Recipients of the warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: Dairy Farm, Seafood Processor, Dietary Supplement Manufacturers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently published warning letters issued to a dairy farm, a seafood company and two dietary supplement makers.   

R Style Holsteins of Edison, OH, received a warning letter after selling a cow for slaughter that was considered adulterated because of unacceptable levels of drug residues in its liver.

FDA cited Stock Island Lobster Company of Key West, FL, for “serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation.”

These violations were failing to list critical points and critical limits in the company’s HACCP plan and failing to follow monitoring procedures for King Mackerel, FDA stated. These include determining the location of harvest for each lot at the time of receipt, determining the adequacy of ice surrounding the product twice daily, and making and keeping an accurate record for the internal temperature of the fish at time of receipt.

Big Easy Confections of Covington, LA, received a warning letter about “serious violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations” for dietary supplements. Most of the letter states that the company’s response to the issues from May 27 failed to include supporting documentation for changes made.

The facility also failed to conduct at least one appropriate test or examination to verify the identity of any component that is a dietary ingredient prior to its use, according to the agency. One of the company’s products was also considered misbranded because its label did not identify it with the term “dietary supplement” or include the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor.

Another dietary supplement manufacturer, EnerHealth Botanicals of Longmont, CO, faced “serious violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” FDA determined that five of the company’s products — including “Parasite Purge Herbal Remedy” and “Daily Immune Support” — are “promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs” and are “not generally recognized as safe and effective for the … referenced uses.”

FDA goes on to state that even if the products did not have therapeutic claims that make them “unapproved new drugs,” they would still be considered adulterated because they were not prepared, packed or held under conditions that meet CGMP regulations.

After inspecting the facility in July 2013, FDA found that EnerHealth, among other things, failed to conduct at least one appropriate test or examination to verify the identity of a dietary ingredient, failed to prepare and follow a written master manufacturing record (MMR), and failed to establish and follow written procedures for packing and labeling, holding and distributing, handling returned dietary supplements, and review and investigation of product complaints. Also, FDA found parts of the responses provided by the company in August and October 2012 to be inadequate.

In the 2014 letter, FDA added that two products are misbranded and that even if the “Daily Immune Support” and “Lung Renewal Herbal Remedy” products were not “unapproved new drugs, they would still be misbranded foods.” All four products failed to have the term “dietary supplement” on their labels. “Lung Renewal Herbal Remedy,” “EchinOsha,” and “Liver Cleanse” also failed to have nutrition labeling. And the “Daily Immune Support” label faced some issues with ingredient declaration, namely that it included botanical ingredients, but not the part of the plant from which each is derived, the agency stated.

In each letter, FDA requested that the farms and companies provide written responses detailing steps taken to bring them into compliance with food safety laws and regulations, to correct violations cited in the letters, and to prevent their recurrence.

Recipients of the warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: Seafood Importer, Seafood Processor, Dietary Supplement Manufacturer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently sent warning letters to a seafood importer in NY, a seafood and pasta maker in MD and a dietary supplement manufacturer in NV.

FDA’s New York District office in Jamaica, NY, sent a warning letter dated July 22 to H.A.R. Maspeth in Maspeth, NY, noting that inspectors visiting the premises in April and May of this year had found “serious violations” of seafood HAACP regulations.

Specifically, FDA stated that inspectors found that dried squid slices offered for import were adulterated due to the presence of Salmonella. The product was consequently refused entry to the U.S., according to FDA’s letter.

The company’s written response was reviewed, FDA added, but the agency found that the “promised corrective action could not be verified due to the lack of documentation supplied to demonstrate its implementation.”

Casa di Pasta Inc. in Baltimore, MD, was sent a warning letter dated July 23 by FDA’s Baltimore District Office, which detailed alleged violations of seafood HACCP regulations, plus several labeling violations.

FDA stated that the company did not have a written HACCP plan for its Seafood Ravioli “to control the food safety hazards of pathogenic growth and toxin formation, and undeclared allergens,” did not monitor the safety of water coming into contact with food or food contact services, and had other problems related to cleanliness and food storage practices.

On July 25, FDA’s San Francisco District office in Alameda, CA, sent a warning letter to Mezotrace Corporation of Winnemucca, NV, detailing results of inspections conducted in August 2013.

The letter indicated that “serious violations” of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for dietary supplements were found at the facility, causing its Mezotrace Calcium/Magnesium Natural Minerals & Trace Elements with Vitamin D and Mezotrace Calcium/Magnesium Powdered Minerals Natural Minerals & Trace Elements to be adulterated.

FDA also noted that the company’s products were being promoted online for conditions that cause those products to be drugs under federal regulations (“intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease”).

The company’s written responses from September 2013 were reviewed and found inadequate by FDA officials because they did not sufficiently address quality control and holding and distribution operations.

In each warning letter, FDA requested that the companies provide written responses detailing steps taken to comply with food safety laws and regulations, to correct violations cited in the letters, and to prevent their recurrence.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: Three Dairies, Two Seafood Processors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently published five warning letters it issued to dairies and seafood processors.

Dueppengeisser Dairy Company of Perry, NY, and Todd & Patty Meech Dairy Farm of Sebeka, MN, received warning letters after selling a calf and a cow for slaughter that were considered adulterated because of unacceptable levels of drug residues in their tissues.

A third dairy — Diamond W Ranch of Petaluma, CA — received a letter about the extra-label use of animal drugs, including disregarding the servicing veterinarian’s dosage-per-injection-site limitation, the withdrawal timeframe, and route of administration.

Graham Shrimp Company of Bayou La Batre, AL, received a warning letter about its incomplete response to a May inspection, which cited “serious violations” of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

“[I]t did not contain real-time data to support proposed corrective actions already taken, and some actions have yet to be taken,” FDA wrote.

Another seafood processing facility — Mrs. Wheat’s Fabulous Foods of New Orleans, LA — was warned about failing to monitor the temperature of crawfish while they are thawing in a water bath, failing to list a critical limit that will ensure control of one or more hazards, failing to list one or more critical control points necessary for each of the identified food safety hazards, and failing to annually sign and date the company’s HACCP plan.

In each letter, FDA requested that the farms and companies provide written responses detailing steps taken to bring the firms into compliance with food safety laws and regulations, to correct violations cited in the letters, and to prevent their recurrence.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warns Five Dairies, Egg Producer and Seafood Ready-to-Eat Manufacturer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent warning letters to five dairy farms for selling for slaughter animals with residues of illegal drugs in their systems.

Illegal penicillin levels were found in the kidney tissues of animals sold by both Conklin Dairy Sales at Plain City, OH, and Crossbrook Farm in Middleburgh, NY. An animal sold by God’s Little Dairy near Lowville, NY, had too much cefazolin in its kidney tissue, and an animal from Willie Schmucker of Waterloo, NY, was found with the presence of sulfadimethoxine in the kidney tissue.

From the Sterling Heights Dairy Farm in Sterling, OH, an animal was found with too much desfuroylceftiofur (a marker residue for ceftiofur) in the kidney tissue.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the drug residues after the animals were offered for slaughter and sale as meat for human consumption.

In other recent warning letters, Easy Moon Inc. at Ramona, CA, received word that its egg production facility was in serious violation of regulations involving prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis, or SE. Among the violations at the egg production facility were:

  • No written SE prevention plan with SE prevention measures.
  • Pullets are not monitored for SE production from movement.
  • Failed to implement a written plan, including such work items as filling rodent holes.
  • Failed to remove debris inside and vegetation outside the poultry house, including dead chicken carcasses outside dairy facilities.
  • Failed to prevent wild birds from entering the poultry facility.
  • Failed to maintain records of compliance.

“Investigators observed numerous dead rodents (58 counted) in the egg laying house, and live rodents (9 counted) walking under chicken cages and running in and out of too-numerous-to-count holes in the dirt floor of the egg laying house,” the warning letter stated. “These observations suggest that the vegetation and debris in and around your poultry house are providing harborage for pests.”

Walker’s Food Products Co. of North Kansas City, MO, also received a warning letter about “serious deviations from the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations” at its ready-t0-eat manufacturing facility.

The FDA warning letter stated that a seafood HACCP must include the company’s various salads, including pathogenic bacteria growth control abuse and allergen hazards that are associated with them. Also it stated that critical control points must be listed and a thawing process included to prevent toxic formation.

FDA also had concerns about proper labeling prior to distribution and urged the company to monitor sanitation conditions and practices. It also advised the company on proper use of employee hairnets.

FDA ordered the company to keep floors, walls and ceilings in the plant clean and in good repair at all times. Some areas were observed to be “pitted and flaking rust.”

Also observed by the FDA inspectors were frayed and heavily scored conveyors, which, along with other equipment and utensils, must be kept properly maintained.

Food Safety News

FDA Warns Five Dairies, Egg Producer and Seafood Ready-to-Eat Manufacturer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent warning letters to five dairy farms for selling for slaughter animals with residues of illegal drugs in their systems.

Illegal penicillin levels were found in the kidney tissues of animals sold by both Conklin Dairy Sales at Plain City, OH, and Crossbrook Farm in Middleburgh, NY. An animal sold by God’s Little Dairy near Lowville, NY, had too much cefazolin in its kidney tissue, and an animal from Willie Schmucker of Waterloo, NY, was found with the presence of sulfadimethoxine in the kidney tissue.

From the Sterling Heights Dairy Farm in Sterling, OH, an animal was found with too much desfuroylceftiofur (a marker residue for ceftiofur) in the kidney tissue.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the drug residues after the animals were offered for slaughter and sale as meat for human consumption.

In other recent warning letters, Easy Moon Inc. at Ramona, CA, received word that its egg production facility was in serious violation of regulations involving prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis, or SE. Among the violations at the egg production facility were:

  • No written SE prevention plan with SE prevention measures.
  • Pullets are not monitored for SE production from movement.
  • Failed to implement a written plan, including such work items as filling rodent holes.
  • Failed to remove debris inside and vegetation outside the poultry house, including dead chicken carcasses outside dairy facilities.
  • Failed to prevent wild birds from entering the poultry facility.
  • Failed to maintain records of compliance.

“Investigators observed numerous dead rodents (58 counted) in the egg laying house, and live rodents (9 counted) walking under chicken cages and running in and out of too-numerous-to-count holes in the dirt floor of the egg laying house,” the warning letter stated. “These observations suggest that the vegetation and debris in and around your poultry house are providing harborage for pests.”

Walker’s Food Products Co. of North Kansas City, MO, also received a warning letter about “serious deviations from the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations” at its ready-t0-eat manufacturing facility.

The FDA warning letter stated that a seafood HACCP must include the company’s various salads, including pathogenic bacteria growth control abuse and allergen hazards that are associated with them. Also it stated that critical control points must be listed and a thawing process included to prevent toxic formation.

FDA also had concerns about proper labeling prior to distribution and urged the company to monitor sanitation conditions and practices. It also advised the company on proper use of employee hairnets.

FDA ordered the company to keep floors, walls and ceilings in the plant clean and in good repair at all times. Some areas were observed to be “pitted and flaking rust.”

Also observed by the FDA inspectors were frayed and heavily scored conveyors, which, along with other equipment and utensils, must be kept properly maintained.

Food Safety News

FDA Warns Five Dairies, Egg Producer and Seafood Ready-to-Eat Manufacturer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent warning letters to five dairy farms for selling for slaughter animals with residues of illegal drugs in their systems.

Illegal penicillin levels were found in the kidney tissues of animals sold by both Conklin Dairy Sales at Plain City, OH, and Crossbrook Farm in Middleburgh, NY. An animal sold by God’s Little Dairy near Lowville, NY, had too much cefazolin in its kidney tissue, and an animal from Willie Schmucker of Waterloo, NY, was found with the presence of sulfadimethoxine in the kidney tissue.

From the Sterling Heights Dairy Farm in Sterling, OH, an animal was found with too much desfuroylceftiofur (a marker residue for ceftiofur) in the kidney tissue.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the drug residues after the animals were offered for slaughter and sale as meat for human consumption.

In other recent warning letters, Easy Moon Inc. at Ramona, CA, received word that its egg production facility was in serious violation of regulations involving prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis, or SE. Among the violations at the egg production facility were:

  • No written SE prevention plan with SE prevention measures.
  • Pullets are not monitored for SE production from movement.
  • Failed to implement a written plan, including such work items as filling rodent holes.
  • Failed to remove debris inside and vegetation outside the poultry house, including dead chicken carcasses outside dairy facilities.
  • Failed to prevent wild birds from entering the poultry facility.
  • Failed to maintain records of compliance.

“Investigators observed numerous dead rodents (58 counted) in the egg laying house, and live rodents (9 counted) walking under chicken cages and running in and out of too-numerous-to-count holes in the dirt floor of the egg laying house,” the warning letter stated. “These observations suggest that the vegetation and debris in and around your poultry house are providing harborage for pests.”

Walker’s Food Products Co. of North Kansas City, MO, also received a warning letter about “serious deviations from the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations” at its ready-t0-eat manufacturing facility.

The FDA warning letter stated that a seafood HACCP must include the company’s various salads, including pathogenic bacteria growth control abuse and allergen hazards that are associated with them. Also it stated that critical control points must be listed and a thawing process included to prevent toxic formation.

FDA also had concerns about proper labeling prior to distribution and urged the company to monitor sanitation conditions and practices. It also advised the company on proper use of employee hairnets.

FDA ordered the company to keep floors, walls and ceilings in the plant clean and in good repair at all times. Some areas were observed to be “pitted and flaking rust.”

Also observed by the FDA inspectors were frayed and heavily scored conveyors, which, along with other equipment and utensils, must be kept properly maintained.

Food Safety News

FDA Warns Five Dairies, Egg Producer and Seafood Ready-to-Eat Manufacturer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent warning letters to five dairy farms for selling for slaughter animals with residues of illegal drugs in their systems.

Illegal penicillin levels were found in the kidney tissues of animals sold by both Conklin Dairy Sales at Plain City, OH, and Crossbrook Farm in Middleburgh, NY. An animal sold by God’s Little Dairy near Lowville, NY, had too much cefazolin in its kidney tissue, and an animal from Willie Schmucker of Waterloo, NY, was found with the presence of sulfadimethoxine in the kidney tissue.

From the Sterling Heights Dairy Farm in Sterling, OH, an animal was found with too much desfuroylceftiofur (a marker residue for ceftiofur) in the kidney tissue.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the drug residues after the animals were offered for slaughter and sale as meat for human consumption.

In other recent warning letters, Easy Moon Inc. at Ramona, CA, received word that its egg production facility was in serious violation of regulations involving prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis, or SE. Among the violations at the egg production facility were:

  • No written SE prevention plan with SE prevention measures.
  • Pullets are not monitored for SE production from movement.
  • Failed to implement a written plan, including such work items as filling rodent holes.
  • Failed to remove debris inside and vegetation outside the poultry house, including dead chicken carcasses outside dairy facilities.
  • Failed to prevent wild birds from entering the poultry facility.
  • Failed to maintain records of compliance.

“Investigators observed numerous dead rodents (58 counted) in the egg laying house, and live rodents (9 counted) walking under chicken cages and running in and out of too-numerous-to-count holes in the dirt floor of the egg laying house,” the warning letter stated. “These observations suggest that the vegetation and debris in and around your poultry house are providing harborage for pests.”

Walker’s Food Products Co. of North Kansas City, MO, also received a warning letter about “serious deviations from the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations” at its ready-t0-eat manufacturing facility.

The FDA warning letter stated that a seafood HACCP must include the company’s various salads, including pathogenic bacteria growth control abuse and allergen hazards that are associated with them. Also it stated that critical control points must be listed and a thawing process included to prevent toxic formation.

FDA also had concerns about proper labeling prior to distribution and urged the company to monitor sanitation conditions and practices. It also advised the company on proper use of employee hairnets.

FDA ordered the company to keep floors, walls and ceilings in the plant clean and in good repair at all times. Some areas were observed to be “pitted and flaking rust.”

Also observed by the FDA inspectors were frayed and heavily scored conveyors, which, along with other equipment and utensils, must be kept properly maintained.

Food Safety News

Safeway passes 51% in seafood sustainability sourcing

Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., said Thursday it has passed the halfway mark in its efforts to sustainably source all fresh and frozen seafood by the end of 2015.

More than 51% of all seafood is responsibly caught or farmed, the company said in its sixth annual sustainability report, noting it has achieved a No. 2 ranking on Greenpeace’s sustainable seafood retail scorecard.

Safeway also said it has set a new sustainable sourcing policy for palm oil, with a goal to source 1 million pounds by the end of this year, and set a goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 based on a 2010 baseline.


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Other achievements cited in the report included the following:

• Saving over 75 million gallons of water across its stores.

• Making progress on its goal to eliminate 1 million plastic and paper bags in its stores by 2015, noting it has already eliminated more than 300 million bags since 2011.

• Donating nearly 72 million pounds of food to support hunger relief; raising and contributing more than $ 41.2 million to charitable causes; and noting that employees volunteered over 1 million hours to nonprofit organizations.



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FDA Warning Letters: Five Dairies and Two Seafood Processors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted seven warning letters in the past week consisting of warnings to five dairies — all for drug residue issues — and to two seafood processors for insanitary conditions.

FDA sent a letter to seafood processor Polonica Inc., of Carteret, NJ, for “serious violations” involving a number of products that were “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.”

After the company responded to the agency, they were told that their Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan was incomplete and needed to cover every product made at the facility.

Bellisio Foods of Duluth, MN, another seafood processor, was also cited for serious violations due to products being prepared in insanitary conditions. That facility also supplied an inadequate HACCP plan, FDA noted.

On the dairy side, regulators sent a letter to Rod McNeal Dairy in Dublin, TX, indicating that the dairy had slaughtered and sold for food a cow with excessive levels of drug residues in its tissues. The dairy was also cited for not keeping complete records of drug treatments for the animals.

Edwin Brasil Dairy of Visalia, CA, was sent a warning letter June 12 regarding the use of animal drugs outside of the intended use. Heifers and lactating dairy cows were given a number of drugs by dairy personnel “without following the dosage, route of administration, and indications for use as stated in [the dairy's] servicing veterinarian’s prescription.”

FDA cited Pominville’s Farm of Croghan, NY, for using the human drug cefazolin on animals, which is not approved by the agency for such use. FDA also found that the dairy failed to systemically review treatment records prior to offering an animal for slaughter for human food.

A veal calf from Bee-Line Farms in Richfield Springs, NY, was found to have an excessive amount of a drug that is not permitted in calves. That dairy also kept incomplete records of drug treatments, FDA stated.

Te Velde Holsteins LLC, of Fort Lupton, CO, was also cited for excessive levels of drug residues. FDA noted that it also maintained incomplete drug treatment records.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: California Seafood Company and Michigan Dairy Farm

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Los Angeles District Director, Alonza E. Cruse, has issued a warning letter to LA-based P & D Seafood Company Inc. regarding comments the company offered after an inspection last September.

FDA’s district office used the warning letter to express its concerns about shortcomings the agency found in the company’s response to its earlier concerns.

For example, FDA’s warning letter states: “Your corrective action plan for ‘Scombroid Fish’ at the (b)(4) critical control point to control the hazard of ‘Chemical Scombrotoxin formation’ lists a corrective action of (b)(4). However, you should evaluate the pertinent hazard (histamine formation).”

The letter goes on to state, “Your ‘Canned Raw Scallops’ and ‘Canned Pasteurized Crabmeat’ plans list the hazard of ‘Chemical,’ which is referred to in your hazard analysis as ‘Toxin formed when temperature abused.’ However, your plan should specify the hazard of Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation.”

The agency offered this comment about imported products: “Product specifications should ensure that the product is not adulterated under section 402 of the Act. However, the specifications you provided with your response do not include any potential safety hazards (i.e., water activity, pH, histamine formation, pathogen limits, aquaculture drugs, parasites etc.). Please refer to Chapter 2 and 3 of the Fish and Fishery Products hazards and Controls Guidance, 4th Edition.”

Although dated March 26, the warning letter was only recently posted on FDA’s website.

Separately, a June 9 warning letter was sent to Kenneth E. Newell, owner of Newell Farms in Trufant, MI, from the agency’s Detroit District Office. In that letter, Newell was warned about selling an animal for slaughter that later tests found to contain illegal drug residues. Here are some of the specifics:

On or about Oct. 22, 2013, FDA states that Newell sold an animal for slaughter and that a “United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) analysis of tissue samples collected from this animal identified the presence of 6.28 parts per million (ppm) of desfuroylceftiofur (marker residue for ceftiofur) in the kidney and 0.879 ppm of flunixin in the liver.”

As explained in the letter, FDA has established a tolerance of 0.4 ppm for residues of desfuroylceftiofur in the kidney tissue of cattle as codified in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Section 556.113(b)(3)(i) (21C.F.R. 556.113(b)(3)(i)). FDA has established a tolerance of 0.125 ppm for residues of flunixin in the liver tissue of cattle as codified in 21, C.F.R. 556.286(b)(1)(i).

“The presence of these drugs in edible tissue from this animal in these amounts causes the food to be adulterated,” the warning letter stated.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: California Seafood Company and Michigan Dairy Farm

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Los Angeles District Director, Alonza E. Cruse, has issued a warning letter to LA-based P & D Seafood Company Inc. regarding comments the company offered after an inspection last September.

FDA’s district office used the warning letter to express its concerns about shortcomings the agency found in the company’s response to its earlier concerns.

For example, FDA’s warning letter states: “Your corrective action plan for ‘Scombroid Fish’ at the (b)(4) critical control point to control the hazard of ‘Chemical Scombrotoxin formation’ lists a corrective action of (b)(4). However, you should evaluate the pertinent hazard (histamine formation).”

The letter goes on to state, “Your ‘Canned Raw Scallops’ and ‘Canned Pasteurized Crabmeat’ plans list the hazard of ‘Chemical,’ which is referred to in your hazard analysis as ‘Toxin formed when temperature abused.’ However, your plan should specify the hazard of Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation.”

The agency offered this comment about imported products: “Product specifications should ensure that the product is not adulterated under section 402 of the Act. However, the specifications you provided with your response do not include any potential safety hazards (i.e., water activity, pH, histamine formation, pathogen limits, aquaculture drugs, parasites etc.). Please refer to Chapter 2 and 3 of the Fish and Fishery Products hazards and Controls Guidance, 4th Edition.”

Although dated March 26, the warning letter was only recently posted on FDA’s website.

Separately, a June 9 warning letter was sent to Kenneth E. Newell, owner of Newell Farms in Trufant, MI, from the agency’s Detroit District Office. In that letter, Newell was warned about selling an animal for slaughter that later tests found to contain illegal drug residues. Here are some of the specifics:

On or about Oct. 22, 2013, FDA states that Newell sold an animal for slaughter and that a “United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) analysis of tissue samples collected from this animal identified the presence of 6.28 parts per million (ppm) of desfuroylceftiofur (marker residue for ceftiofur) in the kidney and 0.879 ppm of flunixin in the liver.”

As explained in the letter, FDA has established a tolerance of 0.4 ppm for residues of desfuroylceftiofur in the kidney tissue of cattle as codified in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Section 556.113(b)(3)(i) (21C.F.R. 556.113(b)(3)(i)). FDA has established a tolerance of 0.125 ppm for residues of flunixin in the liver tissue of cattle as codified in 21, C.F.R. 556.286(b)(1)(i).

“The presence of these drugs in edible tissue from this animal in these amounts causes the food to be adulterated,” the warning letter stated.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters: Airline Meal Caterer, Dairy Farm, Two Seafood Processors

The latest posted warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were sent to an airline meal caterer in WA, a dairy farm in NY, a fish processor in Thailand, and a seafood processor in California.

On May 30, 2014, FDA’s San Francisco District office in Alameda, CA, wrote to Roundman’s Smokehouse in Fort Bragg, CA, to note that agency inspectors had checked the company’s seafood processing facility on Feb. 25 and 27, 2014, and found “serious violations” of federal seafood HACCP regulations.

“Accordingly, your refrigerated vacuum packaged ready-to-eat smoked albacore tuna and sockeye salmon are adulterated, in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” the letter stated.

FDA stated that monitoring plans at the brining and cooler storage points were inadequate for controlling pathogen growth and toxin formation and that sanitation conditions and practices needed to be monitored more closely. FDA also acknowledged emailed responses from the company about corrective actions and indicated that officials would verify these corrective actions during the next facility inspection.

LSG Sky Chefs Inc., of Seattle, WA, received a letter from FDA’s Seattle District office in Bothell, WA, dated May 29. LSG Sky Chefs, which is owned by German airline Lufthansa, was informed in the letter that inspectors had visited the airline catering facility in Seattle on Feb. 26, 28 and March 3, 2014, and, after reviewing the labeling of on-board meals for purchase, found them to be misbranded.

Specifically, FDA’s letter stated that some sandwiches and fruit and cheese plates the company prepared for United, American, Alaska and Virgin America airlines did not list on the food package (or had incompletely or inadequately listed) the following allergens: wheat, milk, egg.

FDA noted LSG Sky Chef’s response that it would itemize the allegens in any food for purchase on the boarding bill, but the agency indicated that was “not adequate as the allergen information and ingredient statement must be placed directly on the package.”

In a letter dated May 15, 2014, Southeast Asian Packaging and Canning Limited of Samut Prakan, Thailand, was told by FDA’s College Park, MD, office that the firm’s fish and fishery products were not in compliance with seafood HACCP regulations.

FDA stated that the company needed to make sure that fresh fish were not held for more than four hours between delivery from a vessel and processing in order to avoid scombrotoxin formation. There were also questions noted about precooking and internal temperature monitoring of pouch-paced tuna related to Staphylococcus aureus growth and toxin formation.

The letter further stated that, barring an adequate response from the company, FDA may refuse admission into the U.S. of imported fish or fishery products, including placing them on detention without physical examination upon entry.

FDA’s Baltimore, MD, district office wrote to Fiber Foods Inc. of Norfolk, VA, on May 13, 2014, to state that, after an agency inspection from March 31-April 2, 2014, a review of product labels found that Yellow Wonton Wrapper and Egg Noodle products are adulterated and misbranded because they bear or contain a color additive (FD&C Yellow No. 5 and No. 6) which is not listed in the ingredient statement.

FDA further stated that the company’s Yellow Wonton Wrapper, Egg Roll Wrapper, Egg Noodle, and Chinese Yock-A-Mein Wheat Noodle products are misbranded because the label fails to declare the presence of egg and wheat, which are major food allergens.

The letter noted that FDA investigators had observed a series of products being manufactured and then scraps from each product being reworked into the subsequent product. For example, the wonton wrappers with egg were made first and this was reworked into egg roll wrappers, and so on.

“Since the rework was intentionally added to each of the foods made after the wonton wrappers, the ingredients in the rework are considered ingredients in any foods made from them,” the letter stated.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Warning Letters go to Airline Meal Producer, Dairy Farms, Seafood Processors and Importer

A Pennsylvania manufacturer of airline meals, dairy farms in New York and Kentucky, a Missouri seafood processor, a New York seafood importer and a Puerto Rico food manufacturing facility recently received warning letters from the U.S Food and Drug Administration.
Gourmail Inc. (doing business as Jyoti Natural Foods) in Sharon Hill, PA, was notified in a May 22 warning letter from FDA’s Philadelphia office that inspectors had found “significant violations” of the agency’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations during an April 30 and May 1 inspection, thereby rendering its products adulterated.
Specifically, FDA stated, ceilings in the facility are not constructed so they can be adequately cleaned and kept in good repair so that drip or condensate from fixtures can be kept from contaminating food, contact surfaces and food-packaging materials. Inspectors observed roof water dripping from an exhaust vent onto a kettle lid in the ready-to-eat airline meal production area, the letter stated, and a hose used to add water to in-process product was lying on a visibly filthy moveable step.

Shawn & Yvonne Bender dairy farm in Glenfield, NY, was sent a May 22 warning letter from FDA’s office in Jamaica, NY, indicating violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. Inspectors visited the dairy operation on March 11, 17, and 28 and found that an animal had been offered for sale that later was found to be adulterated by having cefazolin (an antibiotic) present in kidney tissues. “FDA has not established a tolerance for residues of cefazolin in dairy cows to be processed for human food,” the letter stated.

In addition, FDA informed the dairy that it failed to have a system in place to control administration of drug treatments to animals, did not maintain complete treatment records, and did not use a human drug as directed by its approved labeling or by the servicing veterinarian’s prescription.

FDA’s Cincinnati, OH, office informed Jack Hall Farm of Grayson, KY, of several FD&C Act violations in a warning letter dated May 16. Specifically, the agency stated that an animal was sold on or about June 26, 2013, that was adulterated by having desfuroylceftiofur (marker residue for ceftiofur) and penicillin in its tissues.

Further, FDA stated that the farm failed to maintain complete treatment records and did not use a new animal drug (Excenel RTU) as directed by its approved labeling nor under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, resulting in “an illegal drug residue.”

On May 13, FDA’s Kansas City District sent a warning letter to Louisa Food Products Inc., of St. Louis, MO, noting “serious violations” of HACCP and CGMP regulations at the company’s seafood processing facility had been found during an April 7-22 inspection.

The agency stated that the food processor failed to have and implement a HACCP plan, rendering its seafood products adulterated, specifically for Lobster, Shrimp, and Scallops containing pasta by not identifying the food safety hazards of pathogen growth and toxin formation, metal fragments in products containing chopped vegetables, and undeclared allergens. Additional problems with cleanliness of the facility were also mentioned.

FDA acknowledged a response from the company dated April 29, but the agency noted continuing concerns “because you have not provided any detailed evidence or documentation for many of your reported corrections.”

Maharaja Food Importers Inc. was informed by a May 13 warning letter from FDA’s office in Jamaica, NY, that inspectors had found serious HACCP violations during a visit April 11-15 to the company’s seafood importer processing facility in Ridgewood, NY. FDA told the company that if fish or fishery products are not processed under FD&C Act standards, they will be denied entry.

Because glass-packed pickled tuna in oil marketed as shelf stable did not receive an affirmative processing step, the products are adulterated and “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” FDA stated, and they were therefore refused admission to the U.S.

FDA’s San Juan, PR, office sent a warning letter dated May 6 to Empresas Barsan Inc. of Cataño, PR, informing them that inspectors had checked the company’s seafood, turnovers and corn sticks manufacturing facility from Jan. 17 through Feb. 5, 2014, and found HACCP and CGMP violations.

“Accordingly,” the letter stated, “your products (tacos dough and shells, pizza flavored turnovers, seafood tacos and corn sticks) are adulterated, in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.”

FDA told the company it must conduct or have conducted a hazard analysis for each type of fish and fishery product produced at the facility to determine if food safety hazards are reasonably likely to occur and have a HACCP plan listing them. Additional recommendations regarding product thawing and rapid cooling of cooked products and cold storage and label review were included, and GMP violations involving pest contamination and maintenance failures were noted.

Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.

Food Safety News

FDA Sends Warning Letters to Dairy Farm, Bakery, and Four Seafood Processors

Four seafood processors, an Ohio bakery, and a New York dairy farm are among the food companies receiving recent warning letters from the U.S Food and Drug Administration. FDA district offices in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco sent warning letters for the four seafood companies.

Caito Fisheries Inc. in Fort Bragg, CA, was inspected by FDA on Feb. 24-26,2014, and was found to have serious violations causing its Dungeness crab to be adulterated. Specific violations involve the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulations. The company does not have a HACCP for receiving cooked crab from San Francisco to control the food safety hazard of pathogen growth.

FDA on March 26 to 31, 2014, inspected Sea Fex Inc., doing business as Seafood Express, in Telford, PA. It also was found with significant violations, mostly involving HACCP issues regarding its ready-to-eat canned, refrigerated and pasteurized crabmeat.

FDA inspected Galil Importing Corp., a Syosset, NY, seafood importing facility, on March 27 through April 1, 2014, and found that it had serious HACCP violations. Specifically, the company did not apply HACCP regulations to ready-to-eat canned sardines in vegetable oil and ready-to-eat canned sardines in olive oil.

Eddies Place, doing business as Esther Kwakyewa, is a seafood importer in the Bronx, NY. The business was subjected to FDA inspection from Jan. 2-7, 2014. The inspectors found smoked fish herring and salted fish and fried fish imported into the country were not being processed in accordance with seafood HACCP regulations.

FDA inspected Cho & So Inc.’s Oh Bok Bakery in Philadelphia on Oct. 24-25, 2013. FDA inspectors identified serious violations there, including failures to control pests, clean food contact surfaces, clean equipment and utensils, and clean and sanitize. In addition, there were plumbing and lighting problems, and Korean cake was also misbranded.

Gallagher Farms LLC, a dairy farm in Deansboro, NY, was warned about drug residues found in a cow it sold for slaughter as food. In part, the warning letter to the dairy farm stated: “analysis of tissue samples collected from this animal identified the presence of tilmicosin at 1.967 parts per million (ppm) in the liver. FDA has established a tolerance of 1.2 ppm for residues of tilmicosin in the liver tissues of cattle as codified in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Section 556.735 (21 C.F.R. 556.735). However, this tolerance does not apply to the use of (b)(4) (tilmicosin injection) NADA (b)(4), in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older, and there is no acceptable level of residue associated with the use of this drug in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older.”

Food Safety News

Hy-Vee scores high, Roundy’s dead last in new Greenpeace seafood rankings

Hy-Vee ranked fifth in its first appearance in Greenpeace’s Carting Away the Oceans: 2014 Rankings of Seafood Sustainability in U.S. Supermarkets.

“We were surprised at how well Hy-Vee preformed, by essentially rocketing to fifth place, which is a particularly impressive showing for a new entrant to the evaluations,” said James Mitchell, Greenpeace senior seafood campaigner.

Roundy’s, another newcomer, scored the lowest of the 26 retailers on the list, mainly because it lacks a formal seafood sustainability program.

The top four retailers this year were Whole Foods, Safeway, Wegmans and Trader Joe’s.


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Although Kroger has recently touted its efforts on seafood sustainability, Greenpeace ranked the retailer 20th overall. For the third year in a row, Kroger sold the most products on the Red List, a set of 22 species that Greenpeace says shouldn’t be sold for environmental reasons.

“There’s certainly some retailers that performed worse than Kroger in the rankings — and we’re not trying to let those off the hook by any means — but it’s just the sheer scale of Kroger. It’s such a large retailer that any change it makes is far more significant than the ones that come behind it in the rankings,” said Mitchell.

One trend noted in the report is that several retailers are introducing more sustainable private label canned tuna, some for the first time. Hy-Vee, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Whole Foods all offer such products or plan to do so this summer.

These private label items are price competitive, so consumers don’t have to choose between low-cost and sustainable when shopping for seafood, Mitchell said.

“Americans consume more canned tuna than any other nation on Earth, so that’s a huge win area,” said Mitchell.

Greenpeace voiced concern that recent mergers and acquisitions in the retail sector could have a negative impact on seafood sustainability, given that Harris Teeter’s policies rank much higher than Kroger’s, and Safeway greatly outperforms Albertsons.

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