December 4, 2014 — Neptune Manufacturing Inc., of Los Angeles, has been ordered to stop selling smoked and pickled seafood products until they can clean up their act, according to an announcement from the FDA.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero approved an injunction against the owners, ordering them to bring their operations into compliance with federal food safety laws.
The FDA has inspected Neptune seven times since 2006, and every time found evidence of sanitation issues.
The agency was concerned that the company’s repeated violations of the same food safety procedures and failure to clean up their facility or improve processes put public safety at risk of food poisoning.
According to the FDA:
“FDA investigators found the pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) on four occasions at the facility. FDA investigators also found a failure to control for Clostridium botulinum (C. bot) growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions.”
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause serious food poisoning or even death, especially for people with weakened immune systems. In pregnant women, infection can cause miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth. C. bot causes botulism, which can cause paralysis or death.
Neptune sells ready-to-eat and salt-cured (pickled) fish products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon, and smoked mackerel to customers in California and Las Vegas. No illnesses have been reported to date.
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