FDA Warns CA Seafood Importer for Failure to Meet HACCP Regulation
November 18, 2013
Jin Han International, Inc. has received a warning letter from the US FDA for importing fish without first processing them in accordance to HACCP regulations.
During an inspection, the FDA found that several types of fish offered by the company were unfit for human consumption, including their Mackerel Pike and Bai-Top Shell, which they claimed were “adulterated.”
The letter was issued to company, operating as Pacific Foods Co., warning them of failure to import products that are not injurious to human health. If the violations aren’t corrected, the FDA has the right to seize all of Jin Han’s imports.
About 80-90% of US seafood is imported, but there are increased concerns about how safe it is for people to eat after a number of foodborne illnesses have broken out. Contaminants including antibiotics and formaldehyde have been found in tilapia. About 75% of the US’s tilapia comes from China.
Other than contamination issues, fish are sometimes mislabelled. This is a major food safety issue as it could lead to allergic reactions or other medical issues. The HACCP standards that the US seafood industry has been following for many years cuts back on the risk of mislabelling, as well as food contaminants such as chemicals.
The FDA has started using a screening system called PREDICT to target high-risk imports by sampling and examining the products. However, their resources are limited and they likely only inspect 2% of imports.
The risks associated with contaminated seafood has led to the call for an expansion of seafood HACCP regulations. It has been reported that American consumers are much more concerned about food safety when it comes to seafood than they are about sustainability, type or price.