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178/04/17: US FDA sends warning letter to Vietnam over importer’s seafood HACCP

BA HAIVietnam’s Ba Hai Company Limited received a warning letter dated March 21, 2017 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over its fish and fishery products examined at an importer located in the United States.

FDA inspected the Crystal Cove Seafood Corporation in Floral Park, NY last Oct. 13 to assess the importer’s compliance with U.S. seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. The trading and importing company was found importing various fish and fishery products from Ba Hai’s facility in Vietnam.

FDA said Ba Hai’s HACCP plan for scombroid species of fish contains “serious deviations” from seafood HACCP requirements, enough that its frozen scombroid species of fish are adulterated.

The warning letter says Ba Hai should keep its product “out of commerce until the cause of the deviation is corrected at the Receiving, Preserve (Anneal), and Pre-Chilled critical control points to control scombrotoxin formation.”

FDA also warns that if it finds Ba Hai’s response inadequate, it may take further action including refusing to admit the scrombroid species of fish import to the U.S. This includes the possibility the products could be detained at the U.S. border without physical examnation.

In addition to providing Ba Hai with internet access to the 4th Edition Hazards Guide, the FDA warning letter also provides detailed instruction on how the company might go about correcting the specific deviations, including instructions for harvesting and holding on fishing vessels prior to processing.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers lists Ba Hai Company Limited as using HACCP as a quality control system. The company is one of Vietnam’s leading seafood processors and exporters of frozen tuna, treated tuna loin, ribbon fish, shell swimming crabs, and other fishery products.

The privately held Crystal Cove Seafood Corp. engages in trading and importing frozen seafood items for wholesalers, traders, retail and restaurant chains, and processors primarily in the United States. The company was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Floral Park, New York.

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